When last we checked in with Billy Anderson, he had re-released Billy Again Lately, a 1977 collaboration with R. Stevie Moore that hit all the right spots when it comes to DIY, slightly-off-kilter pop songs. Now he’s released Obstinato (Instrumental Encounters) and it’s a wildly different release.
Aside from the fact that it’s instrumental, the production and instrumentation here veers heavily into an almost Muzak zone. It’s borderline corny but entrancing with its variety. Tracks like Aylin Pearl are atmospheric and ambient, while Which Way to the Lido Deck? has a full-on beach resort vibe.
I can’t say this is for everyone but with track titles like Does God Believe in Atheists? or Step Away from the Bobbleheads, I have to imagine that Anderson has a sense of humor and embraces the production on these songs as a conscious limitation. It’s refreshingly different by being intentionally odd.