If the Mothers of Invention and Material Issue sat down for cocktails with Les Claypool and Trey Anastasio to create a blueprint for a band, the result would be frighteningly similar to art pop veterans The Jigsaw Seen. The avant-garde five-piece returns more adventurous than ever with its 15th release, Bananas Foster, the band’s follow-up to 2006’s spirited and aptly titled, What About Christmas? Bananas Foster is an 11-song collection that has The Jigsaw Seen throwing its razor sharp wit and anything-but-linear arrangements into overdrive. Even the less-than-progressive enthusiast will find its depth of exploration approachable.
Amidst the lush retro horns and strings throughout Bananas Foster, there resides a modern byproduct of sound led by Denis Davison’s cautiously blunt irreverence, found in his undeniably clever lyrics. If you’ve ever pondered the underlying sentiment of tired bubble gum love songs, “You Look like a Lot of People” is a standout track for you.
Bananas Foster showcases The Jigsaw Seen’s exploration of humanity’s eclectic mood spectrum through the lens of an ascorbic tongue-in-cheek ethos. The result is anything but predictable. It’s not surprising that the band, who received a “Best Packaging” Grammy nomination in 2001 for their Zenith album, provides us with a “deluxe package” for Bananas Foster, equipped with removable sticker, handsome mini poster, endlessly entertaining scent sheet, and yes, a recipe care for, you guessed it, bananas foster…touting the dessert as a “culinary work of art,” of course.
Bananas Foster is as much a journey inside psychedelic framework as it is a handshake with someone you’ve never met. The Jigsaw Seen’s sonic recipe yields a vital collection for the outside-the-box music lover and the listener looking to spread their library’s wings. (Be sure to let us know how the bananas foster recipe turns out when you make it, too. Mine was delightful!)