Monday, March 05, 2007
A brief note on music; I am currently enjoying the Fratelli's Costello Music, which is culpably catchy, proof yet again of the Scots' greater aptitude for rock than us Irish. The glam stormers, 'Henrietta' and 'Chelsea Dagger' are stand-out tracks but there are very few weak ones on the album as a whole. And the lyrics aren't bad either. Meanwhile, the best that Ireland can throw us is Humanzi - even the name is awful.
Damon Albarn's new supergroup The Good, the Bad and the Queen are perplexing after his detours into hip-hop with Gorillaz. There is something wilfully obscure about this slow burner of an album that features heavy artillery on all instruments: Tony Allen on drums (asking the king of Afro-Beat drumming to play on a rock album is a bit like putting Ronaldinho in a holding role, but he doesn't get too bored here), Paul Simenon on bass, Simon Tong of the Verve on guitar, as well as couldn't-be-more-in-demand producer Dangermouse at the mixing desk. All the songs sound similar, if not quite the same, and there are few of them that can be called catchy but even as the thing plods along, the languid cut and mix slowly beguiles. He can't sit still that Albarn lad.
And there's a lot of Country too, listening to the likes of John Prine, Gram Parsons, Blanche and Merle Haggard while walking the streets of Paris is possibly the most incongruous musical experience imaginable. As the great John Hartford once sang: 'So its goodbye to the sunshine, goodbye to the dew/Goodbye to the flowers, and goodbye to you/I'm off to the subway. I must not be late/I'm going to work in tall buildings.'