October 5, 2004
Har Mar Superstar : The Handler
Sean Tillman finally delivers on that promise of being 'the fucking best'
8 / 10
At the ripe old age of 26 (yeah, right), Har Mar Superstar has just made his LA Album. It was preceded by what's known in some circles as his London Album; defined as one's break-out effort (in this case 2003's 'You Can Feel Me'), first released to UK shock, followed quickly by extreme praise and rabid enthusiasm. The artist, finding fame and thus fewer places to blend in, relocates to star-infested LA to concentrate on the making of their masterpiece (think Guns N' Roses' 'Use Your Illusion 1 & 2').
Free of budgetary restraints, the LA Album is all about the artist's lifetime vision, and for Har Mar Superstar that apparently entailed making a celeb-laden fuckfest of a record, as slick as anything by The Matrix and blissfully free of any Axl-style edicts to top hat-wearing guitarists.
Har Mar Superstar's apparent ubiquity with every hip band on either side of the Atlantic means that he's able to slide in a few illicit treats on 'The Handler' that were sadly missing from 'You Can Feel Me'. Consequently, we get 'Cut Me Up', his duet with Karen O and an ode to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman's feminine moistness, while O's pasty-faced goth compatriot Nick Zinner finally does something interesting and gets himself porno-fied by bhangra-fying the Dirty Dancing theme tune that drives 'Back The Camel Up'.
Holly Valance then adds a vocal line that makes the song as morally incorrect as a cheeky peek at Charlotte Church's Brazilian.
Stateside Feminems Northern State even get in on the act on the jazzed up, beat-heavy 'Bird In The Hand' (sample lyric: "Boot cut, low rise, no panties, all thighs and an ass that's gonna leave you hypnotized").
Over-produced, bloated with stars and as infectious as herpes, 'The Handler' is Har Mar Superstar's best effort to date. Already past the supermodel-as-accessory clichés, it's time to start taking the big-boned Lothario as seriously as anyone who breakdances in Y-fronts for a living.
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