What binds the latest release from thenewno2, Dhani Harrison’s experimental outfit with producer Paul Hicks and an adept supporting cast, is its lack of cohesion. thefearofmissingout owes its success to its fearlessness. Unlike 2008′s more-direct You Are Here, its follow-up swerves across musical lanes, all the while remaining supremely tasteful.
Harrison’s falsetto, sounding uncannily like Papa George, serves as an anchor — see the lush, sweeping “Wide Awake” — but it’s Hicks’s chopped-and-screwed production — whether he’s dropping Massive Attack-esque trip-hop (“Timezone”) or soaking guitars in bleached reverb (“Hanging On”) — that sells the scattershot shtick. Guest spots feel forced: RZA, who appeared on last fall’s EP002, and Ben Harper, one third of Harrison’s acoustic outfit, Fistful of Mercy, show up for unmemorable turns. And lyrically there’s ground to gain (“I’ve been waiting so long/ just to know if you made it home that night”). But thankfully Harrison and co.’s innate fits of audible ADD offset any generic gesticulating.