Those familiar with the output of Davenport and the Davenport Family may immediately recognize the odd throat singing of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist DB Pederson. On ?Carrot Carrot!? Pederson?s voice is brought out of the murky layers of the Davenport Family?s forest to front eleven quirky (almost) pop flavored tunes. Each song is simply composed of layers of Pederson?s voice, accompanied by gentle bass playing with the subtle touch of flute or percussion on some tracks.
What strikes the listener immediately is the rather alien approach Pederson has to singing. Most of Peterson?s vocals are presented in a guttural form of throat singing, which he accompanies with very accurately rendered imitations of animal, insect and bird noises. The songs themselves are rather traditional in structure, and strongest when the vocals become more abstract. The more one is able to understand the lyrics, the less interesting the work tends to become.
The overall quality of songs on this recording is rather hit and miss. The first five tracks create an incredibly strong beginning but ?Carrot Carrot!? falters at the sixth track and has trouble recovering from that point on. The album opener, ?Turtle House? is probably the highlight of the recording; with its gentle bass line, accompanied by some great flourishes on the flute leading into Pederson?s otherworldly voice ruminating over some lost moment in time. ?To Leave You? follows, which is an exception to the abstraction clause above, as it recasts a very typical song into something rather strange without going over the edge and becoming cartoonish, even though the song is filled with backing loops of sheep/goat voices. The high point of the later half of the album is an a cappella number entitled ?Up A Ways,? which manages to both successfully demonstrate Pederson?s vocal capabilities, while taking the listener beyond technique. This time Pederson keeps with his strengths and keeps the words very abstract with guttural prayer, gurgling noises and birdcalls.
Overall ?Carrot Carrot!? is a rather quirky and intriguing listen that may lose steam at times, but still warrants repeated listening. 6/10 -- Cory Card (3 July, 2007)