Momus – Otto Spooky

Strikes me that I don’t really cover records that I’ve bought that much. I think this is down to the fact that unlike a gig or a film it’s necessary to live with a record for some time to get to really know it’s worth. OK, there are those that whack you in the face straight off but by and large it takes more time to digest the things. So, here’s some recent purchases that I can remember.

To be honest Momus – a man never to shrink from pretention – has his head so far up his japophilic ass (check his Livejournal) that I have long since stopped visiting his website. So, his last two albums have come as a complete and pleasant surprise when I’ve finally found out that they existed.

There are still vestiges of his Analogue Baroque schtick on here, however, it’s becoming more and more apparent that his idea of chamber music is more a plinky plonky music hall song.

And lo, it was written, with success (big in Japan, you know) comes self indulgence. And with that comes increasingly messy and ill-conceived music (Cockle Pickers possibly the biggest missed opportunity of the year, Sempreverde) Take Mr Ulysses. There’s a rather wonderful song in there but it’s so swathed in effects that it’s near inaudible. (Of course there are the occasions where this works Water Song for one has a lovely hypnotic quality to it – it could’ve lasted twice as long.)

The intermezzi from John Talaga (little squiggly bits between the tracks) are unnecessary at best, completely irritating at worst.

The rest kinda slips into the nice if nothing new bracket (Jesus In Furs best song title of the year?, Corkscrew King).

And yet he can still pull the odd corker out of the hat. I am becoming more and more haunted by the deceptively humdrum Life Of The Fields, which has a very sneaky melodicism to it that raises it above the (pretty high) average here. And, in spite of myself, the jaunty african flavoured Klaxon sets my toes a-tapping. And, special mention to Your Fat Friend because it’s that song on this album.

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Written by Tony Kiernan

27 October 2005 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Records

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