Album: Scott Walker
The Drift, 4AD
Friday 05 May 2006
Demur from the current acclaim for Scott Walker, and people assume that his "challenging" music is the reason for your dislike. Not so: I've a well-developed taste for the avant-garde and enjoy some of the soundscapes he has devised for The Drift. Their sculptural, architectural manner, with big, menacing blocks of sound - keening violins, braying donkeys, wind-machines, footsteps - crashing into one another, separated here and there by gaps of silence or industrial humming, has a grace and solidity that's strangely appealing in its self-confidence. No, it's Walker's voice I can't abide, that sombre baritone with its air of lofty condescension and its bleak, repetitive delivery of seemingly random non sequiturs: "and the jigger raps pits"; "I'll punch a donkey in the streets of Galway"; "six feet of foetus flung at sparrows in the sky".
For all their quixotic intrigue, and Walker's oblique approach to such ghostly subjects as Elvis Presley's stillborn twin and Mussolini's doomed lover, nothing on The Drift is quite as startling as the impression of Donald Duck that concludes "The Escape". Maybe, despite all the apparent melancholia, Scott's having a little chuckle to himself.
DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Cossacks Are', 'Hand Me Ups', 'The Escape'
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
- 5 Businessman charged £75 for three small bottles of water in London hotel
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace