Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele: The Good Feeling Music Of…

As the story goes, Animal Collective discovered Dent May and his “magnificent ukulele” while recording Merriweather Post Pavilion in Mississippi last February, and listening to a song like “Meet Me In The Garden,” it’s easy to understand what the group heard in him. Good Feeling Music’s lead single is musically proficient and a textural beauty. It also happens to be pure, uncut schmaltz. In the song, May plays his lounge-friendly voice like a slide-whistle over Tropicalia-lite, unraveling the lascivious tale of the secret orchard of “Miss Caroline.” In spite of the inherent kitsch in a line like “The softest boy in Mississippi would like to know why you’re so pretty,” there’s something sweet and genuine about “Garden”—and the Smiths-y second single, “Oh Paris!”—that precludes the usual discomforts of musical comedy. Not so for the rest of the album. In fact, if it weren’t for those two songs, the disc would be just more novelty for the pile. May is talented, but songs like “College Town Boy” and “You Can’t Force A Dance Party” are ham-fisted, half-baked attempts at eliciting the kind of guffaws Andy Samberg gets with knee-slappers like “Ras Trent.” May claims to be a devotee of Lee Hazlewood, and admittedly, that genre lends itself to cheese, but there’s a big difference between Velveeta and a good, fatty brie.


Share This Story

Get our newsletter