Album: Various Artists
Plague Songs, 4AD
Friday 29 September 2006
The best ideas are usually the simplest. Like this project: ten artists' depictions in song of the ten Biblical plagues. The skill lies in choosing the right performers, and nearly all these are perfect for their plague. Rapper Klashnekoff relates the first plague, "Blood", to violent undercurrents in modern society; King Creosote's "Relate the Tale" (frogs), Eno & Robert Wyatt's "Flies", Imogen Heap's "Glittering Cloud" (locusts) and Laurie Anderson's "The Fifth Plague" (death of livestock) all sympathise with the poor plague agents so abused by God; and Stephin Merritt's "The Meaning of Lice" incorporates into its perky electro-pop a theological argument of droll intelligence. Scott Walker evokes "Darkness" through an acappella aria of suitable opacity, while Rufus Wainwright draws on personal bereavement for the blues ballad "Katonah" (death of the firstborn). Oddest of all is The Tiger Lillies' "Hailstones", in which melancholy piano and bowed saw accompany a tale of a man taking Class A drugs in a tin shed whilst hail beats a tattoo on the roof, then leaving the shack and being struck dead by a huge hailstone. And the moral is?
DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Relate the Tale', 'The Meaning of Lice', 'Glittering Cloud', 'Blood', 'Flies'
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
- 2 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' close to camp
This house and dental clinic 'piled up like bricks on the brink of collapsing' is why Japan wins at architecture
Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Jurassic World trailer already facing criticism from palaeontologists
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'