The main change is the sonic palette, which eschews strings for airy wind timbres, including a 12-piece Icelandic flute section and copious birdsong.But the glitchy, stutter-splash beats are retained, as is Bjork’s irritating delivery, which isn’t so much singing as mannered recitation, drained of emotional inflection.One of the few double albums that wouldn’t have been better as a single album, it’s now become a quadruple set through an additional trove of out-takes and demos, here presented as two vinyl gatefold doubles in a slip-case.Unearthed tracks such as “Late Blooming Son” and “Losing Interest” add further wrinkles to the original album’s overarching theme, which grappled with the duties and delusions of rock’n’roll from both sides of the stage curtain.
Occasionally augmented with lowing, gospelly backing vocals and sepia-tint horns, the soul-funk settings recall the Seventies heyday of Little Feat, ingeniously applied to Byrnes’s originals like “Deep Blue Sea” and covers of such period classics as “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City” and “Out Of Left Field”.
The latter, which opens this collection, is another example of the way Stevens seamlessly blends youthful reminiscence and adult regret into his narratives, while Helado Negro’s remixes of “Death With Dignity” and “All Of Me Wants All Of You”, in particular, ingeniously tease subtle delay echoes into gentle grooves without endangering their fragile meniscuses.
Aretha Franklin with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Before Atlantic’s Jerry Wexler hit upon the idea of pairing Aretha Franklin’s searing gospel passion with the lean Southern soul grooves forged at Fame Studios in Alabama, Columbia Records struggled for six years to find the right vehicle for her talents, often corseting her voice in cabaret orchestrations.
But it’s still by far his best post-Oasis work, an album which doesn’t try to challenge that heritage, but strikes out to explore new territory.
Bjork, , there are more similarities than differences between the two works.An entirely pleasurable experience, recommended to Daptone fans everywhere.