Friday, June 09, 2006

More reviews of Danielson and Scott Walker

I just noticed James Christopher Monger's review of Ships, the deliriously fun, wildly creative new album from Danielson. My own rave review will be posted eventually, but for now here's Monger's:
This is Smith's Led Zeppelin 1, 2, 3, and 4 all wrapped up into one giant boot stomp of a record, one that will no doubt please longtime followers and convert a few new ones into the fold. Lyrically, Smith is as colorful and incomprehensible as ever, trading childhood imagery for fluidity and astute observation for parable, with the notion of nautical camaraderie at its core. Standout cuts like "Did I Step on Your Trumpet," "Ship the Majestic Suffix," and the surprisingly straightforward closer "Five Stars and Two Thumbs Up" sound as communal as they read, and like every other song on the glorious Ships, they render the listener speechless. Highly recommended.
Meanwhile, Andy Kellman is talking about Scott Walker's landmark album The Drift:
From the outset, the album seems impossibly insular and impenetrable, especially if you've been led to believe that Scott Walker's name is synonymous with recluse, but it has everything to do with real lives (or, more accurately, real deaths). Walker is acutely aware of what's going on with the world outside his supposed candle-lit bunker; he's only finding very unique (OK, bloody minded) ways to bring them up. Any mystique behind the recordings is laid to waste by one scene from a documentary, titled 30 Century Man, which shows Walker -- a baseball hat-wearing sixty-something man from Ohio -- instructing another man on how to thump a slab of meat. It looks and sounds absurd, of course (the participants seem to be aware of this), but then again, the results are used in a song inspired by the public executions of Benito Mussolini and his mistress. Broken spells aside, how much more bleak could this album be? None more bleak.

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