Preview: Justin Currie, Pleasance Cabaret Bar, Edinburgh
If music be the food of love, tuck in here
Monday 24 March 2008
Every now and then comes an album strong enough to enthrall the listener from start to finish. What Is Love For by erstwhile Del Amitri singer Justin Currie is such a record.
Though hit Del Amitri tunes such as "Nothing Ever Happens" evinced Currie's way with a perspicacious lyric, his solo debut is something else again: a mature, often touching work by an artist clearly compelled to exorcise some ghosts.
Its real coup is the way it manages to be engrossing and affecting on that most hackneyed of topics, amour. "I had this debate with a friend who never uses the word 'love' in his songs," Currie says, "but the first two things I wrote for this record were 'If I Ever Loved You' and 'Only Love', so I thought I'd go the whole hog and do almost a concept album, horrible as that sounds.
"Mostly, it's about being older but none the wiser. I thought it was important to be honest and autobiographical. Friends listened and said, 'You can't sing that, it'll make people wince!' I'm OK with that. It's supposed to get a reaction."
After Del Amitri were dropped by Universal in 2002, Currie, 42, recorded much of his latest album in a room full of vintage albums, novels and poetry books in his Glasgow home. It would be two years before he found a home for his self-financed labour of love, but he eventually secured a deal with the US label Rykodisc.
The album uses various amour-gone-wrong scenarios as jumping-off points. "Something In That Mess" dissects the long-term relationship that should have remained a one-night stand, while "Not So Sentimental Now" and "If I Ever Loved You" explore the heart's capacity to turn to stone for self-protection.
"I'm amazed at how cold I can be sometimes," Currie says. "If I'd written 'If I Ever Loved You' 10 years ago I'd have put a bit in saying, 'No, I actually really miss you', but I wanted the listener to intuit that I was either a cold, cold bastard or in complete denial."
Tonight, then touring to 28 March ( www.myspace.com/justincurrie); 'What Is Love For' is out on Rykodisc
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget