Album: Dexys, One Day I'm Going to Soar (BMG)
"Attack! Attack!" yelps Kevin Rowland as the martial funk-soul groove of "Now" heralds Dexys' first album in 27 years, a quarter of a century that has seen him stumble from arrogance to ignominy and back again.
One Day I'm Going to Soar finds his career barometer reading "fair" again, although the confessional, autobiographical elements that are its strongest aspect also serve as its Achilles' heel: the whole enterprise depends on how fascinated the listener is with Rowland's psyche, and after almost an hour spent repeatedly scratching the same few emotional itches, that fascination may wear perilously thin.
Following the opening upbeat statement of intent, both "Lost" and "Me" dive deeply into Kevin's favourite theme, revealing the deep insecurities and paranoiac suspicions that he believes have dogged his life and career. But, he admits regretfully, he felt forced to hide his sensitivity for fear of being ridiculed – which places the later cross-dressing cover shot of his My Beauty album in a cathartic context: I am what I am, take me as I come.
Having established the roots of his problem, subsequent songs deal with Rowland's honest disavowals of racial or cultural identity ("Nowhere Is Home"), monogamy ("Free"), and his ambivalent approach to the notion of love that is at the heart of Dexys' soul music. Again, he's scrupulously honest, admitting in "Incapable of Love" that he only knows how to use and hurt – but still carries a torch for the notion of romance itself; though significantly, it's these romantic sentiments that furnish the weakest tracks here, as if he knows they're bogus. Far better is the simple desire expressed in the swaggering funk groove of "She Got a Wiggle" – although even here, an essential part of the fantasy is that "she's mad about me" too. Ultimately, the waltzing croon "It's O.K. John Joe" closes the album with an acknowledgement that being a solitary spirit isn't a shortcoming, that "it's OK to be alone". A belated self-realisation, perhaps, but therapeutic nonetheless.
Download: Now; She Got a Wiggle; It's O.K. John Joe
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
- 4 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss