Saturday, 31 January 2015

The Jesus & Mary Chain Darklands


The Jesus And Mary Chain Darklands


Get It At Discogs

Also Available Darklands Deluxe Edition CD1 & CD2

With their shambolic fifteen minute live sets, playing with their backs to the audience, stage(d) riots, clichéd shades and leather jackets, The Jesus and Mary Chain were the archetype of indie cool in the mid to late 80s. Their seminal debut album Psychocandy, flinging together the sounds of The Beach Boys, The Velvet Underground and The Sex Pistols, was voted no.1 in the NME end of year poll. Though the album had some awesome tracks, such as Just Like Honey and Never Understand, the ferocious guitar feedback coupled with some briefly sketched songs meant the second side especially didn’t lend itself to repeated listening. However, their breakthrough top ten hit Some Candy Talking introduced the themes that were to dominate their follow up album, sex and drugs: “I’m going down to the place tonight, a dark and hungry place, where all the stars shine in the sky, can’t outshine your sparkling eyes.” The influence of The Rolling Stones had supplanted The Sex Pistols. The songs were much more complete, the feedback was dropped, as was the drummer, one Bobby Gillespie, who went on to front Primal Scream. In particular, this album is about infatuation. Every song is infused with a desperate yearning for someone who is out of reach: “I have ached for you, I have nothing left to give” (Nine Million Rainy Days). This leads to a kind of existential despair: “Life means nothing. All things end in nothing" (Darklands). But if life has become meaningless, there is still some kind of beauty and purity that can be achieved by going down so deep and so low, by plumbing the depths: “I’m sitting here warming to the coldness of things” Jim Reid muses in Deep One Perfect Morning. This gothic romanticism reaches a crescendo with the album’s lynchpin, the brooding Nine Million Rainy Days, stealing from The Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil: “Nine million rainy days have swept across my eyes thinking of you, and this room becomes a shrine thinking of you, and as far as I can tell, I’m being dragged from here to hell.” He feels as if he is sacrificing himself, like a form of martyrdom: “I would shed my skin for you, would break my back for you” on the stomping, almost jaunty Happy When It Rains, a UK hit single. Sexual and drug related imagery are used interchangeably throughout. Just as the desire for someone he can’t have is corrupting the soul, so the need for drugs is corrupting the body. The sex in these songs is always forbidden and dangerous: “making love on the edge of a knife” while the guitars swirl on another UK hit single, the breathless April Skies; “barbed wire kisses” and female masturbation “scratching like a grain of sand, a trigger itch in the killer’s hand” on the urgent Beach Boys flavoured Cherry Came 2. With the last few songs there is at last a sense of redemption, of making it through to the other side. The masterful On The Wall implies that only time itself can heal the pain. “There’s something warm about the rain, there’s something warm in everything, there’s something warm and good about you”, he croons in relief in About You, accompanied only by an acoustic guitar and tambourine. With this album, JAMC seemed on top of the world. The controversy and promise of their first album had been converted into critical acclaim and commercial success, with this second album producing two of their three hit singles. They had also spawned the new Shoegaze movement, with bands such as My Bloody Valentine and Dinosaur Jr trailing in their wake. Strangely, this was as good as it got. None of their future records achieved any kind of airplay and they seemed to drop like a stone from the public radar. The transatlantic sound of their third album, more amphetamine fuelled than the heroin feel of this album, alienated their UK fanbase, who had in any case moved on to Madchester (Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses) and the Rave scene.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Spiritualized ‎Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space




Get It At Discogs
Spiritualized’s magnum opus begins with the electronic voice of a woman saying the title of the album, and then -- silence. Before the song begins, the listener is treated to 7 seconds of nothing, a moment of silence to both reflect on the album’s title and at the same time be transported to the abyss of space, and for a moment the listener is actually floating in space, looking back at mother Earth, distant. Everything is stationary and peaceful, and when the music slowly fades in, the illusion is not disrupted. The synthesizer is light and airy, there are occasional beeps and blips, the vocals are monotonous. The song goes out of its way to avoid revealing any emotion. If you close your eyes, you can see the image that is painted by the song: an astronaut orbiting around his homeworld, floating, looking through a window while Elvis Presley’s “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” plays in a speaker. The astronaut sings along, solemnly, thinking about someone at home that he desperately wants to be with, and he feels the cold pain of isolation. Then “Come Together” comes on, and its like plummeting back to earth, horns blazing as the listener crashes back into the atmosphere. Jason Pierce snarls in your ear in a voice entirely different than what you heard just 20 seconds ago, and despite the song’s title, it feels like everything is actually falling apart as instruments come and go in a tempoless tempest. “Come Together” and the title track effectively show the album’s two extremes: the solemn astronaut versus the anarchy and fire that rages inside of Pierce. And the most amazing part of this album is how Spiritualized emulate both sides of the coin so well. “All Of My Thoughts” begins sedated, a whisper that breathes and fluctuates, and then explodes into a fanfare for about 30 seconds before resuming its sober state, only to crash again into crazy mode, rinse and repeat. The album is often wrongly labeled as “what it sounds like to float in space,” when its really more “what it sounds like to be bipolar.” In the album’s 70 minute run, as advertised on the cover, there is hardly a minute that cannot be put into either the restrained or riot category. Resisting the bad feelings vs. letting them in. Pierce has succeeded in creating a schizophrenic album, and the effect is incredible. There is the song “Electricity,” a favorite of mine from the album, that shakes and rocks and threatens to run off the rails, followed immediately by “Home of the Brave,” which is the most emotionally revealing song of the album with Pierce confessing “I don’t even miss you, but that’s because I’m f**ked up.” Chaos vs. Control. The album’s theme reaches its climax with “Cop Shoot Cop…” The 17 minute monster of a song is really the must-listen of the album. Starting off soft with a piano, tambourine and guitar, Jason Pierce sings with his signature monotone moan “Jesus Christ died for nothing, I suppose.” You can almost hear Pierce shrugging as he sings the line. Of course, the song follows the theme of the album and straddles the line between tranquility and travesty, and the song soon explodes into a tempest of screeching guitars, bass riffs and just general fuzz, only to once again be calmed, restarting the cycle. In the end, this album could easily be 2 separate albums by 2 separate bands, that were then mashed together and intertwined and forced to live together in some sort of crazy reality show. Jason Pierce really made a masterpiece of an album with “Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space.” Not only is the concept of the album fully realized and well executed, the band behind Pierce is playing in top form (listen: Cop Shoot Cop…). The band is able to transform from a baseline and drum into a wall of sound and textures in seconds, and then at any moment compact itself back into minimalist mode. The album is a complete package, a joy to listen to from start to end, and that’s what really propels it into space.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Suzanne Vega 99.9 F


Suzanne Vega 99.9 F


Get It At Discogs

It must be difficult to have such a recognizable pop hit so early in your career that people completely miss your later, stronger, and more significant musical contributions. When most people think of Suzanne Vega, they probably think of her 1997 album Solitude Standing and her hit single, “Luka.” Well, that album’s kickoff track, “Tom’s Diner” was a small a cappella opening track and also the closing instrumental track for that album. But, it was later remixed into a great dance track by DNA in 1990 and as the 90’s got more electronic and more experimental, Vega shifted gears with her producer (later husband) Mitchell Froom to create one of my favorite albums of the 1990s: 99.9 F°. Now, I’m just guessing about the line connecting “Tom’s Diner” to 99.9 F°, but I like to think that the success of the “Tom’s Diner” single emboldened Vega to mix her songs up a bit and take more risks sonically. Granted, these are still Vega’s folk songs — but it’s not like the way Paul Simon always Simon always writes a Paul Simon song. The surrounding sounds and instruments lock his songs into a time and space and help create a mood, but it’s still the same whether it’s the 1970’s or Graceland-era Simon. Vega’s songs on 99.9 F° are different: they’re edgier, quirkier, sometimes more sweeping, definitely influenced and constructed more around the swirling production and instruments. The albums kicks off with “Rock in this Pocket”, which is probably the most conventional Vega song on the album. Then, it gets different with “Blood Makes Noise,” which the churning background machinery and drums and distant distorted tracks. Her lyrics reflect the manic, thumping beat The body and how it reflects our inner torments takes central stage in several songs on this album, whether it’s the ballad “Blood Sings” or the sing-songy, thumping title track about a man on the verge of burning up. “As Girls Go” explores physical femininity and sexuality in someone who isn’t really a girl. It’s also as if Vega is discovering her own self or the odd people around her: the boy bell ringer in the sweeping Beatlesque “In Liverpool” or the carnival characters in hurdy-gurdy style ”Fat Man and the Dancing Girl.” Vega is putting people in her movies and taking down heroes. The whole album feels like a sonically vaudevillian act with oddities with Vega as MC. There’s a disconnection between these characters and reality, and a yearning to make a connection. But don’t get too weighed down in the lyrical details, enjoy the sounds in this album: Vega’s acoustic fingerpicking or strumming; the deep bass that anchors each song; Froom’s keyboards and sound effects. The arrangements can be minimal or full Technicolor. Yeah, it’s arty, but musically interesting and doesn’t compromise Vega’s voice or her lyrics. This is a really rich album and deserves a close listen before it falls into the back of your mind and you sing along without even thinking about it. Vega’s next album Nine Objects of Desire is a great companion listen that furthers these themes, and sometimes does it better both lyrically and sonically. Sadly, Vega and Froom divorced later and their work in this vein was finished (her divorce is well documented in the heartbreaking 2001 album Songs in Red and Gray). Granted, both of her Froom-produced albums are a bit of an acquired taste and not among her best reviewed. But, 99.9 F° is a really overlooked album that could become one of your secret favorites.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Ian Dury ‎New Boots And Panties!! 1996 Reissue




Get It At Discogs
After releasing several promising singles and scoring a British number one with 'Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick', Ian Dury and the Blockheads released their debut album to widespread critical acclaim. Why then, is the album so overlooked? Ian Dury had to overcome adversity his entire life. Diagnosed with Polio at the age of seven that left him crippled, it seemed that rockstar could be ticked off possible career paths for Dury. But become a star he did, against all odds developing a charismatic and powerful stage persona to complement his cheeky odes to sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. After his pub band split up, it seemed that Dury’s luck was finally up. However, Dury had already proved his tenacity, and having honed his trade on the pub circuit for many years, he emerged to the forefront with a new band - The Blockheads. The factor that will stand out to listeners first of all are the lyrics - they flow wonderfully, and their observational wit gives the album a unique sense of humour. Having said that, there is an equal amount of crude moments, such as the tirade of swearing that opens Plaistow Patricia, or the fart noises and disgusting imagery served up on Blockheads. The album also offers some social commentary, although this is few and far between. It's far too easy to forget about the Blockheads when talking about Dury. Although Dury's outlandish appearance and larger-than-life persona was inevitably going to garner the most attention, the Blockheads deserve credit for simply laying solid and often fantastic rhythmic foundations for Dury to build upon. Check out how the funky bassline and tinkling pianos on Wake Up and Make Love with Me accentuate the saucy lyrical content, or how the wailing brass band and chugging guitars on Plaistow Patricia allows the band push Dury to the forefront without compromising themselves. As all the best backing bands should do, they play to their frontman's strengths without limiting themselves in any way. However, the record is not without its flaws. The gratuitous swearing in places will be repellant to some, while many will be put off by Dury's vocal delivery - a thick London accent that ocassionaly slips into deadpan is inevitably not for everyone. He also has a tendency to slip into shouting on some of the rockier numbers, such as Blockheads. Others may be put off by the schmaltzy instrumentation, or the basic structure of the songs - you won't find many time signature changes or lead breaks here - it's straightforward and to the point. It's also fair to say that a portion of the lyrics will be lost on non-British people, and as such they will miss out on what I personally feel is one of the albums strengths. What we're left with is a record that will always have select appeal. It may have garnered platinum status with just over a million sales, but the record was destined to be a cult favourite, especially outside of Britian. What we're also left with is Dury's legacy - the one record, that above all others, is a testament to his musical achievements. For that reason alone, it deserves to be bought and listened to and then listened to again and forever cherished.
Recommended tracks Wake Up and Make Love with Me - an encapsulation of Ian Dury - funny lyrics, and fine funk from his band. Sweet Gene Vincent - Dury shows his softer side, and contrasts it with some terrace shouting and 'meat & potatoes' rock on this tribute to another overlooked star. Sex and Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll - if I was to tell you that this song is credited with inventing the phrase, how could you deny it's anything but essential? Luckily, the songs musical worth backs it up. What a Waste - this single packs in hooks and jazzy grooves, along with an off-kilter synthesiser interlude that marks it out.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Underworld ‎Beaucoup Fish


Underworld Beaucoup Fish


Get It At Discogs

few albums have been so keenly expected as the new musical opus from Underworld, the oddly named Beaucoup Fish. Most famous for their track “Born Slippy”, which was featured prominently in the film of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting a couple of years ago, Underworld nearly didn’t survive long enough to produce their next album. With the unexpected success of “Born Slippy”, Underworld were suddenly the band of the moment and threatened to be eclipsed by a song they considered so throwaway that it doesn’t appear on any of their three albums. Thankfully, after the usual rock star cycle of fear and self-loathing, Underworld have re-emerged with a collection of songs that reinforces their reputation as the most original dance act the UK has ever produced. If the Prodigy are the Sex Pistols with a beat box and the Chemical Brothers are a cackling younger sibling let loose on your record collection with a chainsaw, Underworld are altogether somewhere else. Don’t get me wrong – Underworld will sonically rip your head off if you want them to, with slices of raw electricity like “Kittens” and “Moaner” (first heard on the Batman and Robin soundtrack album). But where their enduring appeal lies is that you don’t know what to expect next from an Underworld album. One minute you’re in enveloped in the dancefloor inferno of “King Of Snake”, the next you’re thoughtfully drifting along to the melancholy melodies of “Wynger”, all the while accompanied by the surreal, cut-up lyrics of Karl Hyde. Underworld: Beaucoup Fish It’s this mixture of precise mechanoid structure and freeform human voices that make Underworld one of the warmest sounding bands around – ironic for three guys who treat and manipulate virtually every sample that passes through their hands. “Cups”, Beaucoup Fish’s opening track, is a case in point – listening to it feels like sun rays on your face. Moreover, like any great band’s output, Beaucoup Fish repays repeated listening – except for the aforementioned dancefloor fillers, it can easily pass you by the first time. But what appears to be a random collection of tracks soon metamorphoses into an intricate and beautiful landscape of sound. Live, Underworld are interested in making you move. While DJ Darren Emerson and knob-twiddler extraordinaire Rick Smith are gently bobbing up and down behind their wall of equipment, Karl Hyde is out front exhorting the crowd on to ever greater heights, not with his voice, but with his own brand of don’t-give-a-fuck dancing and a smile the width of the ocean. Visuals courtesy of the avant-garde design collective Tomato wash the entire stage, while live pictures of the crowd and band are superimposed over the top as the music moves further and further up the scale, intoxicating and irresistible. Underworld may be a band who ooze intelligence in everything they do from their record sleeves to their musical preferences, but that doesn’t stop them wanting you to lose yourself in their sounds. So, if you’re still wondering what Underworld sound like, the answer is: they sound like Underworld. For all their categorisation as a dance outfit, there are no bands to whom Underworld sound similar or to whom they owe an obvious musical debt. Underworld have created not only their own sound but their own genre. You won’t see or hear their like again.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

The The Infected


The The Infected

Get It At Discogs
Infected's sound still suggests dance-pop, especially on the title track. But don't get the impression that it's made for dancing. Instead of the light fare displayed on Soul Mining, Infected's songs seethe instead of preen, and Matt Johnson's lyrics are laced with tension. Thematically, he plunges a lance into the exposed midsection of Great Britain, analyzing the state of modern urban life in the country. "This is the land where nothing changes," Johnson sings on the World Party-ish "Heartland." "A land of red buses and blue bloody babies/This is the place where the hearts are being cut from the welfare state." "Angels of Deception" matches rain-slicked verses to a powerful chorus flavored with gospel backup singers and enormous reverb percussion. With production tricks like this, Infected aligns itself with the dance-pop sound of its predecessor (and the prevailing sound of British pop music at the time). But there's no denying the record's acerbic lyricism or dark-toned instrumentation. "Sweet Bird of Truth" is gritty pop tinged with wartime radio chatter and muscular horns that somehow manage to be apocalyptic, and the sweaty finale "Mercy Beat" has a drink with the devil while dance-pop burns brightly in the background, sending embers into the London night sky. Synthesized horns and crashing drums converge around a mirthful Johnson lyric before the song finally fades to the weird tones of a looped guitar. Infected was the first true indication of Johnson's mercurial nature, and established the dissonance and reinvention of his later work

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Iggy Pop ‎Blah-Blah-Blah




Get It At Discogs
In 1983, Iggy Pop's career was in shambles, but an unexpected windfall arrived thanks to Iggy's frequent benefactor David Bowie. Bowie recorded "China Girl," a song Bowie and Pop co-wrote, for his album Let's Dance, earning Iggy some large (and much-needed) royalty checks. Wisely realizing he was running out of second chances, Iggy decided to make the most of his good fortune; he steered clear of drugs, learned to cook his own meals, started putting money in the bank, and used his savings to bankroll a new album. David Bowie offered to help, and together they came up with Blah Blah Blah, the most calculatedly commercial album of Iggy's career. Like The Idiot, Blah Blah Blah was heavily influenced by Bowie's input; however, while The Idiot was made by a man creating intelligent and ambitious art rock, Blah Blah Blah is the work of a popmeister looking for hits and not afraid to sound cheesy about it. In the liner notes, a member of Duran Duran is thanked for the loan of a drum machine, and that speaks volumes about the production; Blah Blah Blah is slick in a very '80s way, dominated by preprogrammed percussion and swirling keyboards. And in the four years since Zombie Birdhouse, Iggy hadn't come up with much in the way of material; the only truly memorable tracks are "Real Wild Child (Wild One)," a neat bit of electro-processed rockabilly (previously a hit for Australian rocker Johnny O'Keefe), and the moody "Cry for Love," co-written by former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. Both of these songs were minor hits, so Blah Blah Blah succeeded on its obviously commercial terms.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

The Pale Fountains Pacific Street Japan Reissue


The Pale Fountains Pacific Street


Get It At Discogs
Liverpool, during the early 1980s, was quite possibly the hardest English city to form a band. The Beatles’ legacy continued to cast a long shadow. Manchester’s Factory Label was quickly becoming the voice of the North. And thanks to the Human League, Sheffield’s once avant-garde electronic scene was becoming a national phenomenon. The only way for Scoucers to stand out in the face of such strong competition was to scatter like roaches and explore a wide range of eclectic styles. Echo and the Bunnymen performed with a bombast and grandiosity that rivaled U2. The Teardrop Explodes boldly explored psychadelia and Krautrock. And Frankie Goes to Hollywood managed to subvert the world by coupling shamelessly homoerotic lyrics with Trevor Horn’s inventive production. Despite their quirks, all managed to strike a balance between post punk principles and Britain’s lush musical past and reassert their city’s place as a breeding ground for English talent. But one band remained totally out of step. Based on their influences alone, The Pale Fountains, formed by Michael Head in 1981, managed to stand out as an anachronism. Their music betrays the influence of Burt Bacharach, Love, Brazilian jazz and bossa nova. Their overtly sunny lyrics were suspect during the gloom of the early Thatcher years. Some critics dismissed them as a “cabaret band.” Their response? "A cabaret band play cover versions of standards -- we play our own songs." . Released in early 1984, “Pacific Street” is a very rich and well recorded album. It’s brimming with a wide variety of sounds: including, but not limited to, congas, trumpets, string sections, flutes, mandolins, pianos and steel drums. All of this with the perfect touch of foreign rhythms to keep things interesting. The opener, “Reach”, kicks off the program in a very quiet way. The intro is barely audible and rather unspectacular, but quickly gives way to chiming guitars and chipper trumpets. Song two, “Something On My Mind,” is a song that I use as a starting point when I recommend this band to friends. It’s quite possibly the most flawlessly recorded piece of pop rock of the last twenty years. “Unless” is the only song to take advantage of affordable synth technology. Pre-recorded choral swells accent the lead vocal while a sequencer occasionally gurgles through. Kinda reminds me of Brian Eno, except with better lyrics. A heavy debt to Love is evident on the saccharine “Southbound Excursion” and the thrash poppy “Natural”. Though I tend to grit my teeth at Michael’s “Yeah yeah yeahs” and yelps in the latter. After the instrumental “Faithful Pillow (Part 1)” the boys get really ambitious with “You’ll Start a War,” a mini-epic that failed to make a dent in the UK charts upon its release as a single. The remaining numbers, while strong, lean a bit too heavily on the Burt Bacharach influence. This doesn’t mean they’re boring, but they sorta validate all the cries of “cabaret” and “M.O.R.” But I do enjoy the lively steel drum intro of “Crazier.” The original album ends with a reprise of “Faithful Pillow.” European re-issues feature 4 bonus tracks, including the single that got the band signed, “Thank You.” The Japanese reissue really beefs it up with a total of 9 bonus tracks, including alternate and extended versions. Because the public was so fixated on looks and controversy, “Pacific Street” only reached #84 in the UK charts. Funny because if this had been released in 1996, the same year as Belle and Sebastian’s “Tigermilk” it surely woulda been a hit. From what I’ve read, Virgin Records gave these lads a £50,000 advance and an additional £100,000 for expenses and recording fees. In a 1990 interview with French rock magazine, Les Inrockuptibles, Head expressed a sense of regret about the heroin fuelled demise of this band, but also looked back with a certain fondness: “Money was an excellent thing for the whole of us. We could do anything we wanted. The problem is that money can buy anything, good things as well as bad. Because I've always been very curious, I began to experiment everything. I say: everything. Therefore, it's money that killed the band, because it enabled us to buy all sorts of drugs we wanted to.” The Pale Fountains disbanded in 1985, following the release of “From Across the Kitchen Table”. Head would go on to form Shack with his brother, and continues to drift along in obscurity. But the Pale Fountains and Shack retain a cult following that includes the likes of Noel Gallagher and Badly Drawn Boy.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Roxy Music ‎For Your Pleasure




Get It At Discogs

Tracklist


1Do The Strand3:58
2Beauty Queen4:34
3Strictly Confidential3:44
4Editions Of You4:46
5In Every Dream Home A Heartache5:28
6The Bogus Man9:19
7Grey Lagoons4:08
8For Your Pleasure6:53

For a bunch of voguish, sartorial art rockers, Roxy Music enjoyed a commendable level of success with their eponymous debut album, with the record itself reaching number 10 in the UK album chart, and its lead single 'Virginia Plain' faring even better, stealing the number 4 spot, and in the process, gaining the band a booking to appear on the coveted 'Top of the Pop’s' television show in their native Britain - giving them a platform to exhibit themselves to an audience of millions. The lads appearance on 'Top of the Pop’s' proved to be fortuitous, as the citizens of a grey, miserable early seventies Britain lapped up the kitschy glamour, outrageous style and exhilarating, arty glam rock (a genre that was to be the country’s favourite around this time period, with the likes of Bowie and T. Rex popularising glam stylings a great deal) of Bryan Ferry and his gang of talented, ornate musicians. It provided people with a sense of escapism - a chance to exit the bleak surroundings and practices of everyday life, and enter Roxy’s world of excessive glamour, stylish fashion, sex, drugs, and art, in the form of experimental, glam rock. Roxy Music’s modus operandi was executed to an even greater extent than on their debut, with their 1973 sophomore effort, 'For Your Pleasure'. 'For Your Pleasure' is an album of juxtapositions - taking steps in one direction, but just as many in the other. The main fuel of this apposition was the creative tension between the two Brian’s of the group - Ferry and Eno. Ferry wished to fall into a more familiar glam rock setting, albeit one with the group’s arty inclinations still intact, whereas Eno wanted to push for a move towards texture - precisely his electronic experimentations with early synthesisers and sound manipulation. In the end, Ferry ‘won’ and Eno decided to pack his bags (probably full of clunky VCS3’s) and set off on his own solo path after the album was complete. But for the time being, his eerie undercurrent of electronic buzz and clever sound manipulation of Manzanera’s guitar was still present and welcomed across the album’s 8 tracks. The set kicks off with the archetypal 'Roxy' tune, 'Do The Strand' - a five minute thrill ride with tense piano, sleazy saxophone, a driving rhythm section, and typical crooning Ferry vocals. 'Beauty Queen' begins with some chilly distortion work courtesy of Eno, before its odd floating melody starts swaying along with Ferry’s exaggerated croon, stopping briefly at intervals for just a second before restoring the tune, in time for Manzanera’s guitar to pick up, in all its buzzing, reverberated glory. Most of the other tracks continue in the same fashion, but what makes each song stand out are the small details and oddities. Of particular notice is 'In Every Dream Home A Heartache' a track that spends 2/3rds of its entirety creeping and crawling along at slow pace, with a simple, eerie whirl tailing behind Ferry’s foreground vocals, before the song explodes into a distorted fit of excellent psychedelic guitar fury from Manzanera that fades away for a couple of seconds, before returning at full throttle to close the song moments later. 'Editions of You' is also stellar, even if its one of the (relatively) simpler compositions on the album - with pounding drums and vigorous guitar and sax interplay. The only song that falls flat, somewhat, is 'The Bogus Man' - spending almost nine and a half minutes not really going anywhere, it seems either self-indulgent or misguided - either way, it's the single superfluous track on the entire record. 'For Your Pleasure' is, essentially, a continuation of what Roxy set out to do on their debut the preceding year, and because of that, its simply more of the astounding work that influenced and enthralled many. But where appropriate, the album is held back just the tiniest amount by the creative tensions at play between Ferry and Eno, with some tracks being ever so slightly indifferent in their goals and execution. However, ‘slightly’ is the key word, as 'For Your Pleasure' is, despite its minor niggles, a thrilling and radical slice of arty, glam rock experimentation at near perfection.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...