Ivan In Paris
By Ed Bumgardner
JOURNAL ARTS REPORTER
Chandler Travis, the leader of The Incredible Casuals, is an unusual and entertaining man of uncommon intelligence. So it makes sense that his take on pop music, evidenced by his new solo album, Ivan In Paris, should be similarly smart, entertaining and, well, odd.
Travis is gleefully unconcerned with such trivialities as trend and profit as he wades into deep musical waters to find continuity in pop peculiarity; on this album, he visits doo-wop, be-bop, madhouse folk and Beatlesque pop without so much as a conceptual twitch or glitch.
Wry and witty lyrics examine such topics as love and aging (”(You & Me) Pushin’ Up Daisies”); tonsorial quandaries (”Haircut”); love exalted (the majestic ”Love is Too Much”) and love rejected (”You Jerk”).
The song structures are never predictable, the melodies are as involved as they are unforgettable, and the arrangements are mapless safaris into the pop unknown. It all adds up to a work of pop art that is beautiful, bewildering and bewitching.