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Delirious With Weird

Sunday, May 16, 2004  
I'm Never Gonna Meet Her...
Caroline Sullivan wrote some guff in The Guardian.

Then I wrote the following on ILX.

I don't think it's as good as OPM and I don't think it will sustain as well (for me), either as a whole or as seperate songs.
I do think it's great / exceptional / marvellous etcetera in it's own right though.

I think the beat and the two different piano tracks make "Empty Cans" for me, and stop me having the same reservations about it as N does; the first part being foreboding and unavoidability, the second being a slowly unfurling sense of hope.

I think that maybe three or four tracks are, out of the context of the storyline, poor, or even very poor - "It Was Supposed To Be So Easy", "What Is He Thinking", "Such A Twat".

I think there are potentially quite a few singles though - "Not Addicted", "Dry Your Eyes", "Could Well Be In", "Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way". I think "Blinded By The Lights" is amazing, but not a single, likewise "Empty Cans".

I think his lyrics are good in the way that Mike Leigh scripts are good, which is a very different kind of good to the lyrics on OPM - fwiw I think i prefer the OPM take all in all, but there are certain bits of AGDCFF that are just astounding.

I think the more stripped production works very well in the context of what the album is, but I'm gutted that there's nothing really lush or banging or full. I listened to "Fit..." back to back with "Don't Mug Yourself" and "Fit..." sounded really weedy by comparison, likewise "Blinded By The Lights" and "Weak Become Heroes".

I hope this isn't the start of a narrative-album bandwagon.

I really want to hear what he's going to do next, and am slightly pissed that it's probably going to be two years until I do; the novelty of this almost makes it seem like a side-project. I hope he turns his gaze outwards slightly next, and also hits the dancefloor again.

I was waiting for someone (Caroline Sullivan is a perfect culprit) to decry Skinner for either being a class-tourist or else a misogynist. (I also think she's wrong re; it being the sound of vinyl spun backwards in "Empty Cans"; it sounds like a reel-to-reel tape to me, and the assertion that it must be vinyl posits it as a very masculine sound, all the connotations of audiophilia, collectorism, that anal 'record collector boy'/'comic store man' impotent, emotionally immature masculinity being a very cynical stick to shake at him - "silly little boys prefer records to women" etcetera etcetera).

I'm not sure it'll be a shoe-in for the Mercury - they can't have three ostensibly garage acts winning in a row, surely? Maybe Ivor Novello, given the narrative arc!

I don't live the lifestyle Skinner portrays at all, but there have been times when I almost have, and I've known plenty of other people who do.


5/16/2004 09:02:00 am


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Nick Southall is Contributing Editor at Stylus Magazine and occasionally writes for various other places on and offline. You can contact him by emailing auspiciousfishNO@SPAMgmail.com

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