widg‧et /ˈwɪdʒɪt/ [wij-it] -noun: Pointless ramblings from the New Forest. Obviously complete & utter Rubbish. Why must I contibute to all this endless talk about me? My self-indulgent knees, spilling themselves all over the internet. Obviously i am Jon and his hair, I AM HIM!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Countdown to Ecstasy! (two)

Apologies for the short delay, my saddlebags were encumbered by a gaggle of ailing cabin boys, escaping from the evil, self-proclaimed sexual enigma. With three heroic, swooping flails he was dispatched, only for me to find the overwhelming, misplaced sorrow of The Housewives Of A Certain Age guiltily bestraddling my seasonal throat like an ageing, foul-smelling Tonsillolith.

Neon Neon
Stainless Style

Gruff Rhys returns, this time with Boom Bip and a host of other guest stars in tow (Spank Rock, Yo Majesty, Cate Le Bon), to bring you the nylon-tastic story of disgraced car-nutter, John DeLorean. Yes, he of the ridiculous DMC-12, a car with wings that didn't take off, in either sense, later rehabilitated by Marty McFly; he of the shady business, creative accounting & drug trafficking entrapment fun that was all the rage when I was 5. The story of a much maligned man from a much maligned decade, the decade that taste forgot (if you listen to the propaganda, I'd plump for the 70s myself), set to a music using all the tricks & sounds of the era, but better than you ever remembered. Fast Cars, faster women, dream cars, hope & optimism, The Kids From Fame; this is the true essence of an idealised 80s, when it was shiny, new & day-glo, when it wasn't just a mess of big hair, leg warmers and obnoxious yuppies braying noisily on their humongous mobile phones.

We begin with 'Neon Theme', at first listen it sounds like the authentic sound of my childhood, a soundtrack to an unreleased Tron sequel from when the synthesiser was king. This sound cropped up in everyone's work in the 80s, from Eurovision winners to ex-Beatles to the heaviest of heavy metal bands, no one was left untainted. It now seems dated, but this is the perfect way to present this one man's vision of the future. And the thing is, the 80s were never this slick; no matter how much they wanted to be. When you listen back, it's never quite as gleaming and clean as you remember.

'Raquel' is named for Ms Welch, a previous conquest of Mr DeLorean. It starts with a joyously tinny drum machine, complete with fake cowbell & artificial handclaps; the sound that was all the rage in the clubs that I wasn't allowed to go to. I keep expecting a Gary Davis, Kid Jenson or Mike Reed-type to interject with a tired witticism, whilst wearing a cardigan of heavily made up girls around his shoulders.

'I Lust U' is a blatant Depeche Mode steal, but an electro-disco classic nonetheless, 'Belfast' is sadly not the exotic place previously immortalised in song by Boney M, but 'Trick For Treat' even manages to make Har Mar Superstar sound cool. In other words, an embarrassment of riches (a juicily apt summary, if I may say so), not a straight copy of a unfairly derrided oeuvre, nor a pastiche or a piss-take, but enhanced with a little perspective & humour. Messers Rhys & Bop have made a great album from artificial, outdated & cheesy parts, assembled in just the right way to give the illusion that the eighties was a time of hope & genius music (which, in part, it was).



Blogger AlphIANo said...

FINALLY! Although your puss-mouth does excuse you somewhat.

Fantastic choice! I knew I was forgetting another album, this is indeed an absolute stonker. That's Gryff in your top 2 two years in a row.

Now HURRY! I've already spilled my load!

1:38 pm


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