Music Reviews

Artist: Leaftree & Downey (@)
Title: Beethoven's Taxi
Format: CD
Distributor: self-released
Rated: *****
Eccentric, electronic southern folk-rocker Downey Burns is back for his fifth release, Bethoven’s Taxi. Anyone who has previously heard Burns’ work is familiar with his off-kilter recording and vocal style, but for those of you that haven’t had the opportunity let me just say that it’s "different." I’m not sure I could put Leaftree and Downey in a genre if I tried. Burns fuses a myriad of genres ranging from country, 80’s new wave, classical, folk and then some, all with a strong electronic theme like none other.

The first thing that struck me about Beethoven’s Taxi is the more personal touch. Burns’ cynical viewpoints on social values are expressed not with rage or anger, but almost passively with a hint of sorrow and sadness. Burns seems to be approaching music a little more seriously on Beethoven’s Taxi as well, vocally melodizing more and integrating multiple new musical styles. Almost half of the CD is comprised of instrumental tracks that introduce what seems like randomized forays into new genres; making Beethoven’s Taxi not only a sentimental ride, but also an extremely interesting one sure to surprise even the most prepared Leaftree and Downey fan.

I really like Beethoven’s Taxi. Downey Burns’ strange/estranged lyrics make me grin, and his curiously crafty approach to music makes me grin a little more. Anyone who appreciated Leaftree and Downey’s previous releases or anyone who enjoys left-field music is sure to enjoy this album. As with Leaftree and Downey’s previous release, Wet Kisses, Beethoven’s Taxi is available for free at (for a suggested donation).

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