Wednesday, 27 June 2007

3 horribly underrated records.

Here are some great records that completely disappeared off the critical radar shortly after their release.

1) SPOON - Gimme Fiction (Matador Records) 2005

This record's got it all. Economy, soul, arrangement, artistry, pop, sex, intelligence, perfect production and above all else, the sickening ability to make it all sound so easy. I have friends who have problems getting over the 'OC' friendly sound of single, 'Sister Jack'. Hopefully in 2010 they'll have regained their senses and will be handing over that 'Kate Nash' record to the recycling people so they can use the wax for a re-pressing of 'Gimme Fiction'...

Ones to hear:

I Turn My Camera On
My Mathematical Mind (on headphones preferrably)
They Never Got You



2) Smog - Dongs of Sevotion (Drag City) 2000

I tried to convince a friend once that Bill Callahan is a better lyricist than Lou Reed. I was just being annoyingly facetious at the time but my friend was so outraged I just had to carry on. By the end of the night I'd denounced Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Tom Waits, Love and just about every other sacred cow I could think of.

Regardless of whether you prefer Lou Reed over Smog there's no denying that the words and imagery on 'Dongs Of Sevotion' are some of the most stark and brilliantly vivid ever committed to record. Check out the wry sardonic wit of 'Dress Sexy at my Funeral' or Callahan's morbid ruminations about death on 'Permanent Smile'. This record's even got Jon McEntire and Jeff Parker from seminal electronic post-rock outfit 'Tortoise' on backing.

Ones to hear:

Justice Aversion
Dress Sexy At My Funeral
Bloodflow


3) Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson (RCA Victor) 1971

Although it was'Panedonium Shadow Show' and 'Aerial Ballet' that got Nilsson his friend of 'The Beatles' tag it was 'Nilsson Schmilsson' that made him famous. It's a weird and disparate record that's often at odds with itself yet still manages to pull it off. Check out the proto-metal freakbeat of 'Jump into the Fire' and then listen to the cartoon calypso of 'Coconut'. It's like listening to a completely different band...brilliant!

Ones to hear:

Jump Into The Fire
Coconut
Moonbeam Song

Words: James Finlay

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