But it’s a wild, entertaining ride, quirky and whimsical, tuneful and hooky. There are samples and sound effects, backing vocals that swoop in and out, spoken bits and naughty bits as Wright draws on antecedents older than he is. To underscore his fondness for the psychedelic ’60s, he drops the word acid more than once.
Variety is a constant, as are a strong rhythmic foundation and the nonconformist characters in his songs. Wright sings about a fear of heights on the stomper “High Rise,” which closes with a descending synthesizer as a punch line. The tipsy country gospel of “Tractor Beam” somehow fits with the hazy horn-fed R&B of “Bells & Whistles” and the Lennon-esque singalong “You Can’t Win a War Without Love.”
Deadheads will love it, as will Beckheads.