LOVE'S NOT A COMPETITION (BUT I'M WINNING)
Thanks to Wayne Ree for two such nice reviews!
I came down with a little bit of a cold over the weekend. It made the days a bit rough going. I was under heavy deadlines already, and my sleep patterns are still screwed, not helped by daylight saving's time. So, I slept probably more than half of the weekend away. Still, I got my manga stuff done, and I am now tying the bow on Have You Seen the Horizon Lately?--so you'll forgive the radio silence.
I've had some thoughts I've meant to share on the Brett Anderson solo album. I'm still somewhat undecided about it, despite having listened to it nearly once a day for the last two weeks. At first, I wasn't that blown away. It sounded like side sessions to A New Morning and some of the slower tracks the Tears recorded, but it seemed to lack punch. Lyrically, Brett attempted to stay simple and straightforward, and I'm not sure if it works. His appeal has always been his use of common language, but he usually appropriated the language to twist it in interesting ways, he didn't just allow it to sit there and be common. So, for a writer whose work I've usually had some real connection to, I'm finding myself a little on the outside. I find myself longing for his usual panache.
Musically, Brett Anderson is another matter. The more I pay attention to the fact that there aren't a lot of guitars on the record, that he relies more on strings and keyboards, the more I appreciate how far out of his comfort zone he is. Many of his arrangements are extremely powerful, and others are delicate and lovely.
It's strangely backwards. In Suede and the Tears, Brett Anderson was a singer and a writer who had paired himself with extremely talented musicians. One would have expected him to step away from those partnerships and come up with material that was sonically weak while being verbally impressive, not the other way around. Unlike other Britpop alums who have recently released impressive solo discs where they expand on the sound that made them famous in their bands (Jarvis Cocker, Luke Haines, Gruff Rhys), I'd say Brett has played it the least safe of any of them. Honestly, would I have expected any less? Unfortunately, I'm just not sure as of yet if it paid off completely.
For those curious, Brett will be previewing the B-sides to "Love is Dead" on his website all this week. One song a day starting today.
Current Soundtrack: Maximo Park, Our Earthly Pleasures
Current Mood: relieved
All text (c) 2007 Jamie S. Rich