Local Review: Joshua Payne Orchestra

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Joshua Payne Orchestra
Ra Ra Ra
Self-Released
Street: 11.01.12
Joshua Payne Orchestra = Radiohead + DJ Shadow + Thelonious Monk 
Joshua Payne is an unmistakable Salt Lake character who never seems to put down his guitar, gigging everywhere from Bar X to Grand America. He’s versatile, as is his sound. On his most recent album, Payne and his orchestra join pop and contemporary jazz in an unlikely space: the mainstream. Ra Ra Ra is an album of pop covers that Payne transforms into avant-garde wonderlands full of ’90s angst and experimental electronica reminiscent of Christian Asplund. At first, I found the album shocking in its fracturing of recognizable billboard hits like Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Niggas in Paris” and Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now.” However, Payne successfully re-appropriates these songs, reconstructing them into complex compositions that exhibit his musical genius and that of his bandmates. 

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