Born With Stripes
is a chameleon of an album. It starts off with a catchy, pop -- "accessible indie," as I like to call it -- number, entitled "We Don't Know Who We Are." This album has so many varied styles (from blues to psychedelic to Indian-influenced) that I don't think this album quite knows who it is; but that's okay.
This first track and its two subsequent tracks have been on consistent rotation in my brain since I first listened to this disc. Track two, "I Like The Way You Walk," is a very inviting tune, and it does associate well with "We Don't Know Who We Are"; these two songs are from the same family, as it were. However, track three, "Bloodhound," enters the scene and all bets are off. This is the stone cold blues track of Born With Stripes
. It is easily my vote for best track on the entire album. With lines like, "I'll need a bloodhound just to track her down, but she'll be mine again," and carefully-placed background "oooo-oooo"'s, it is difficult not to love this song. But that's the genius of blues; it is a stereotypically cool genre of music (and what a nice stereotype to have!).
The "West Coast Raga" and later "East Coast Raga" would fit in well as B-Sides to The Beatles' 1966 classic Revolver
, with their sitar sounds, spiraling guitar lines, and hypnotic basslines and drum beats. These tracks stick out and clash with the other tracks until about halfway through these songs, when the listener gets enveloped by them; and, at that point, it is all aural gravy. A friend overheard me listening to "Bullfrog Blues" and said it could very easily be a lost Lovin' Spoonful track. On that note, I feel that "New Blue Stockings" has a Doors-y or Jefferson Airplane-y motif to it. So, the '60s are represented very well in this disc.