Usually the vibe in Decomposed is low key and fairly serious. That is, unless a Rivers runs through it. And after a year full of hootenannies, incongruous collaborations, and breaking world records, this is surprising absolutely nobody. A few weeks ago he put out a call for a pianist and an a cappella group to help decompose some tunes for us. Along with those folks, he brought a pretty enthusiastic up-and-comer named Jermaine Dupri (!). Throw in a cowboy flutist, Alone II tunes, and a Beach Boys cover, and you have a Rivers-sized holiday spectacle.

The session unfolds in three parts: first there’s “I Was Scared,” on which Cuomo’s joined by his hand-selected pianist Sonya Lee and a five-part a cappella group the Dartmouth Aires. For the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby,” Rivers goes sans piano and full-on a cappella with the Dartmouth quintet on backing harmonies. And then there’s the grand jam of “Can’t Stop Partying,” which features five acoustic guitarists and three percussionists (from bands Crash Kings, Alkaline Trio, Yellowcard, Melee, Reeve Oliver and Ozma), big-hatted flutist Greg Vail, and Mr. Dupri. Fresh for ’08.

You can watch the full session now at stereogum.com/decomposed.

[Photo by Dominic DiSaia.]

Comments (13)
  1. Black Jesus  |   Posted on Dec 22nd, 2008 0

    Wow, can’t stop partying was really good. Fresh for ’08 fo sho

  2. Rivers and Jermaine look so Christmas-y standing next to each other.

  3. Christian  |   Posted on Dec 22nd, 2008 0

    wow, members of alkaline trio and ozma? what is this, my drive to school in 10th grade??

    i do have to admit, in spite of weezer’s recent run of dumb music, there’s something special about hearing rivers belt it out.

    also, they should have gotten andy bernard to join in the a’capella action. the guy has pipes.

  4. Anonymous  |   Posted on Dec 22nd, 2008 0

    I thought that was Spike Lee. This is refreshing, this Decomposed thing was turning into Bands No One Gives A Fuck About.

  5. Zach  |   Posted on Dec 22nd, 2008 0

    i forgot he could sing.

  6. caseclosed  |   Posted on Dec 22nd, 2008 0

    High-quality mp3s, please.

    You know, for the holidays.

  7. fucking Sinatra and Sammy D right there. boom blaster!

  8. Matt  |   Posted on Dec 22nd, 2008 0

    It’s time for the weez to stop polishing their albums so much where the emotion is lost. They need to start sounding more like this!!! I forgot how much I like hearing rivers sing with emotion

  9. ethan  |   Posted on Dec 23rd, 2008 0

    whoa whoa whoa. cuomo shaved!

  10. “Can’t Stop Partying” is good. Rivers sounds really fucking strained on “Don’t Worry Baby.” And I feel pretty neutral about the third one. I was somewhat disappointed with Alone II, so I guess that’s part of it. Still, good stuff, in general. Thanks.

  11. whistle  |   Posted on Jan 5th, 2009 0

    You are supposed to give about 4 – 6 inches of space between the source and the U87, right? Back up, Rivers, you know better.

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