Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Wooden Finger Five: September 2013

As Stan Smith from ‘American Dad’ once said, MMJ’s singer Jim James’ ‘voice makes Enya sound like a Russian couple arguing at the bowling alley’. Strangely enough though, that episode did not include this track from their album ‘Z’, which has probably his sweetest, most sky-floatingist vocal performance that I’ve heard from the beardy one to date.

This track came to my attention in the past month when, apparently five years after it was released, I saw the trippy, mashed-up video clip. The image of one member wailing ‘How hard must I try?’ morphing into the face of another member matter-of-factly grumbling/croaking (‘groaking’?) the same line is the one that stuck with me the most.   

In my post-Spotify era I’m still working my way through too many old albums to listen to too much new stuff, but I have been listening a bit to Kurt Vile’s new one, which is actually one of the few times to date I’ve taken notice of Spotify’s recommendations. This is actually atypical of KV’s new album in that, rather than being long and daydreamy it’s a modest five minutes long and rocky, which may help it stick out. The yelps at the end probably help it stick out too.

No, it did not take me until the past month to hear this, but it took me until the past month to rediscover it. I never bought the album – ‘All Is Dream’ that this was taken from, which is weird given how much I liked the Rev’s previous album ‘Deserter’s Songs’ … well, not that weird really, I was studying and had to conserve funds. Now, with unlimited music at my disposal, and twelve years more of life etched on my face, I can appreciate more fully Jonathan Donahue’s sighing ‘But you want it all …’

5.    Razorlight/Slipway Fires – Razorlight

Johnny Borrell is, by all reports, a bit of a berk, but perhaps fortunately most of his berkness bypassed me in the mid-2000s. I listened to Razorlight’s first album, ‘Up All Night’ a few years back, and even picked up a half-broken copy from a Borders’ firesale, but I thought that was probably going to be all the Borrell I would ever need. Then I listened to Razorlight’s self-titled second album, and thought it was … (whisper now) … really quite good. But that’s not the true horror; I then gave Razorlight’s much-panned third album ‘Slipway Fires’ a go, just out of curiosity, and (oh no) I liked that as well. Yes, I may well have become a Razorlight fan half a decade after I have any excuse to. My Dirty Projectors CD will look upon me in shame.  

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