Plump : I Like the Idea of Chance

Whimsical songs like "Varmint Poontang" can't disguise Plump's serious musicianship.

On I Like the Idea of Chance, their third album, Houston quintet Plump mixes funk, rock, reggae and a thick slice of humor for a sound as groovy as it is dripping with Southern comfort. Songs like "Varmint Poontang" and "The Governor" encapsulate their whimsical point of view, but don't be fooled — there's serious musicianship going on here. Jason Jackson is still the best sax player in Houston and shines on "Freedom Jazz Dance." "Underwater Town" has a languid, prog-like structure, and tempos and motifs change so fluidly in "Oso Nova" that no solo is ever too long. Throughout I Like..., Plump balances improvisation with respectable songwriting; as a result, the music feels both spontaneous and well-crafted. The album's only fault is that it doesn't quite do Plump's live performances justice; such is usually the case with so-called jam bands. Live, Plump is louder and less reserved, and James Yarbrough's vocals blend more effectively with the music. And as luck would have it, they're playing this very weekend.

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