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Les Claypool - Of Whales and Woe Review

by Zane Ewton

Of Whales and Woe is the first record credited to solely Les Claypool. Apart from a few contributors like Mike Dillon, who offers his tabla skills, the day belongs to Claypool. He plays standard drums, absurd percussion, sparing guitars and a little banjo. The album, as always, is completely reliant on his slippery and revolutionary bass playing coupled with the unmistakable humor and wry delivery of his vocals.

Claypool's music is never run of the mill, but Of Whales and Woe contains every element that his fans love. His bass playing is thrust into the spotlight even more than usual with the lack of any other instruments on songs like "Iowan Girl", a tribute to corn-fed, full-bodied women.

With Primus and his other projects, Claypool has crafted his own genre that defies explanation. The music has no time or space. It just exists in its own world like the sailor on the album cover. The open seas lead to uncharted destinations.

Long-time fans will find Of Whales and Woe a welcome addition to their obviously alternative library. Bass players everywhere will continue to bow down to the undeniable power of a fretless bass. Everyone else probably just won't get it.

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Les Claypool - Of Whales and Woe

Label:Prawn Song

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