CD of the week
Album: John Grant, Pale Green Ghosts (Bella Union)
Saturday 09 March 2013
It's fair to say that most who heard the former Czars frontman's solo debut Queen of Denmark would have happily lapped up more of the same: channelling struggles with drugs, alcohol and sexuality into beautiful, baroque soft-rock, it cropped up on many an end-of-year list in 2010.
Yet Grant can barely acknowledge his laurels, let alone rest on them. And so, for this follow-up he's gone electronic, allying his emotional vicissitudes to those of early dance music, from the disco bacchanal of "Sensitive New Age Guy" to the title track's claustrophobic, proto-techno grind.
The occasional familiar, Carpenters-esque track aside, it makes for an exhilarating musical progression – even as his lyrical style remains unchanged. Once again, discomfiting self-exposure is tempered by the most eccentric, erudite wit: take "Ernest Borgnine", in which he obliquely reflects on his recent HIV diagnosis with reference to the late film bruiser, or "Black Belt", a caustic diatribe against an ex-lover that makes a quip out of the word "callipygian" – that's "having well-shaped buttocks", FYI.
"Pain it is a glacier … creating spectacular landscapes," he sings on "Glacier": a truth his career makes self-evident.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 HSBC closes bank accounts belonging to Muslim clients in the UK
Led Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
New film Old Fashioned is 50 Shades of Grey for Christians, claims its creator
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
Guardians of the Galaxy review: A superficial and half-hearted Marvel film
R Kelly 'dropped' from Ohio music festival following backlash
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >