on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2018 30 Aug

Preview from No. 1, 2 & 3 (from my albums 2022)

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

1) Brian Eno: Foreverandevernomore

2) Lambchop: The Bible

3) Father John Misty: Chloé and the next Twentieth Century


Ad 1) Perhaps the reason I was never a real fan of Roxy Music was they had the wrong singer. This, of course being an offense for Roxy Music die-hards, may raise eyebrows. In hindsight I would have preferred Eno taking center age on the first two albums, but then again, with a voice not perfectly suited for stadium rock, the band might only have gained underground status, who the fuck knows, you can‘t rewrite history. So, when „For Your Pleasure“ was circling our tables in school, I only became mildly interested. (Ferry did a great job, no doubt, but I was looking for something else. Paradoxically, my favourite Roxy album, one I really liked, was „Stranded“, the first without Eno.) This all changed on a rainy December day 1975 in Würzburg, when my first copy of an Eno album blocked my record player for weeks, „Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)“. The songs, their sonic textures, their singing voice, their lyrics had an entrancing quality, and I knew from the start, I had found another favourite musician – and singer.

As time goes by. Now, after those other, quite rare song- or song-related albums (all a class of their own), Here Come The Warm Jets“, „Another Green World“, „Before and After Science“ (close the 70‘s at this point), „Wrong Way Up“ (with Cale), „Drawn From Life“ (with Schwalm), „Another Day On Earth“, „Someday World“ (with Hyde), and „The Ship“ (close the next four decades at this point), here we will have another song cycle, to be released on October 14, „Foreverandeevernomore“ – no catchy songs, no singalongs, no fairytale searches of parallel worlds, no hooks, no future evergreens, oh, hold on, in their own peculiar way these songs which could be coined as modern day lamentations, may contain a collection of future „everblues“ at least, striking quite a special, different note, corner, space, in Brian Eno‘s song life. The album is a challenge, haunting, uncanny, ethereal, anti-nostalgic, lost in space, beautiful in a dark way, and a fantastic melting of ambient and song worlds. Even Scott Walker, I guess, would love it in his tower of song, Leonard anyway. 


Ad 2) These endless twists and turns that Wagner keeps making musically – that in many ways have come to define Lambchop’s late career – may feel disorientating for some early-day adopters used to that more classically Americana sound. However, despite being born from a period of deep questioning and self-reflection, The Bible doesn’t feel like a confused or lost musician chasing the zeitgeist or wandering aimlessly. Instead, it’s the work of a focused artist who is consistently attempting to stretch out the parameters of their own ever-expanding sonic world. Last year, City Slang label boss Christof Ellinghaus told Uncut, “Kurt doesn’t have a single nostalgic bone in his body”, and that’s no more evident than here. Everything about The Bible suggests a fierce, steely gaze locked onto the horizon, proving that maybe more artists should stop for a moment and ask, “What the fuck am I doing?” In this instance, it has resulted in yet another late-career highlight. (Mickie Winters, Uncut)


ad 3) Those two main strengths of “Chloë”—the expanded instrumentation, complete with a full orchestra, and a new propensity to tell stories with vivid detail, absent any hint of that trademark snark—are what makes the whole of Chloë and the Next 20th Century such a songwriting triumph that continues to reveal more about itself upon each listen. Fans of Father John Misty’s past, more straightforward tracks, from the heavier “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” to the catchy folk-rock of “Total Entertainment Forever,” might be disappointed at first to hear a full album that takes after Randy Newman, or the kind of songs that would’ve soundtracked a Gene Kelly dance routine. But let its full beauty sink in, and there’s just so much to love here. (Steven Edelstone, Paiste)

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