Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Opus on The Drift

Jason Moorehead is celebrating Independence Day with a review of Scott Walker's The Drift-- one of the most, uh, liberated albums of the year. And by liberated I mean insane.

Is it pretentious? Most certainly. It's likely that The Drift will be the most pretentious album you'll hear all year. And maybe next year. And maybe even the year after that. But that doesn't mean The Drift is something that can just be dismissed, as many no doubt have. The Drift is undoubtedly difficult and sometimes, is only palatable in small doses. But Walker certainly isn't pretending to make any other kind of music. He's very conscious of what he's doing.

For all of its surreal, absurd blocks of sound, it's clear that each and every moment of the album is carefully composed. While a good deal of experimentation may have gone into the album's creation, nothing seems off the cuff or thrown in there "just to see what happens". The long spaces of silence, the sudden eruptions of sound, the strange wordplays and imagery, the vocal phrasing -- each is intended to illicit the maximum effect. But what effect?

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