Camoufleur, Gastr Del Sol's fourth full-length album and the final collaboration between founder David Grubbs and wild card Jim O'Rourke, is not so much the pop record the two have been threatening as it is a slightly more conventional take on the band's trademark weirdness. After all, it's not like Gastr Del Sol's previous releases have been prohibitively unusual; the band has always served as a useful bridge between the stranger side of songwriting and the more accessible side of the avant garde, the ideal stepping-off point for those willing to explore what lies in the shadow of the great indie-rock precipice. Camoufleur's first track, "The Seasons Reverse," percolates with jaunty percussion, trumpet, steel drum, and lyrics that are actually sung, borrowing a bit from the off-kilter Brazilian music Arto Lindsay has been exploring. In fact, several of the songs here seem to reflect a new cosmopolitan slant: "Black Horse," for instance, vacillates between an implied Eastern European arrangement and a neo-Japanese melody, while "Bauchredner" sounds vaguely South Asian before abruptly veering into a relatively straight Western pop ditty. Gastr Del Sol retains much of its identity thanks to Grubbs' poetic lyrics, linear guitar drones, and languid piano playing, but this move toward more standard song structures, while not a radical revamp, sounds fresh and enjoyable. It's a shame that Grubbs and O'Rourke have parted ways, as Camoufleur promises new and exciting things in the band's immediate future.

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