Sunday, March 15, 2009
Indepth analysis of albums that are groundbreaking influential,weird and misunderstood bi monthly review By Filipe Melo
Featured album: Scott 4 by Scott Walker
A Case for MOR (Middle of the Road)
The adjectives experimential, DIY, indie, noise are used to describe music which challenge the traditional universals of what a song, and more generally, what music should be. Even within the hallowed tower of "indie" there has always been an internal coup demanding that whatever recognition a tangent of the genre be furthered to the point of complete metamorphosis. Blocks of sound in place of melody, unconventional instrumentation, homemade production and an achingly nihilistic sincerity are all indicative of a recent trend within the Los Angeles music scene which at once is refreshing and disconcerting. Despite the exciting atmosphere surrounding the possible discovery of some sacred language hidden within the depths of the MPC, there is something to be said of using the language of convention to expound on the more confounding puzzle of postmodern/existential ennui. Enter into this situation the Ohioan Righteous Brothers reject come reclusive genius Noel Scott Engel, or as his is known Scott Walker. His fourth solo album Scott 4 is arguably the most profoundly elegant statement of humankind's struggle against its own insouciant futility. The forays it makes into such generalized ideas like war, love, and intimate minutae are mostly tawdry but beautifully signify that in some cases that convention is the most comfortable springboard to creativity.
Scott 4 was the last in a series of poorly received but pretentiously acclaimed solo albums by an American expat in England who at one time was more popular than the Beatles. Its...to be continued.