The World of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez
by Ryan Reed | July 13, 2014
Is it possible to be too prolific? Like Frank Zappa or Robert Pollard before him, Omar Rodríiguez-López has a discography so massive, so eclectic, it's downright intimidating for a seasoned fan — let alone a newcomer with a full-time job. The multi-instrumentalist/producer/madman has released somewhere between 30 and 40 "solo" albums (depending on how you label them) in the past decade, and that's before even mentioning his now-defunct prog rock outfit The Mars Volta or his endless assortment of side projects (Bosnian Rainbows), one-off collaborations, and guest appearances (soul singer Erykah Badu, guitarist John Frusciante, rapper El-P).
If you piled the man's catalog onto the world's largest iPhone and hit shuffle 20 different times, the results would always surprise, unearthing tunes from jazz fusion to salsa to dub (De Facto) to post-punk (At the Drive-In) to acoustic balladry (The Mars Volta's softer moments, like "The Widow"). Revisit some highlights from Lopez's sprawling -- and always thrilling -- body of work.