Lambchop hails from Nashville and claims to play a "refined, and redefined" style of country music, but the songs the band creates on its second album, How I Quit Smoking, have more in common with Brit crooners the Tindersticks than Chet Atkins and Billy Sherrill (whom the Lambchop members claim as heroes). Boasting 13 players on this album, Lambchop feels more like an art collective on a mission of enlightenment than a country band bent on AM airplay. Still, with subtlely threads of clarinet, sax, organ, and even a full string section integrated into the mix alongside a double-necked lap steel and an impressive lineup of vintage guitars, the music is so lush, lovely, and thoroughly hypnotic you can see their point. The country element lies buried in the subtle rhythms and melodies, surfacing in the quiet moan of the lap steel or the melancholic flutter of the strings. Spooky as often as it is soothing, Lambchop's music may not be the fireside countrypolitan of Atkins or Sherrill – I don't think either would put up with the babbling rhymes of "Smuckers," the sinister guitars that mark "The Militant," or the existential undercurrents of "The Scary Caroler".
Thinking is at the heart of our everyday lives, yet our thinking can go wrong in any number of ways. Bad arguments, fallacious reasoning, misleading language, and built-in cognitive biases are all traps that keep us from rational decision making—to say nothing of advertisers and politicians who want to convince us with half-truths and empty rhetoric.
Moving away from the guitar histrionics of Beauty Stab, Martin Fry reduced ABC to a duo of himself and Mark White for 1985's danceable How to Be a…Zillionaire! Incorporating light hip-hop rhythms, ABC made sure Zillionaire sounded contemporary for mid-'80s dance clubs, and as a result, some of the record sounds stiff and dated. Still, when Fry's sense of melody is on, as on the catchy single "Be Near Me," or when he works in his vicious, cynical wit, as on "How to Be a Millionaire" and "So Hip It Hurts," the record rivals the peaks of Lexicon of Love.