Ok, today I’m super mellow because I now know I’m going away. Still, I had a tricky problem to sort out at work today, so I calmed myself by listening to some wonderful Scott Walker (reviewed below).

I’m currently listening to an interesting album lent to me by a colleague – ‘AM Gold’ by Zero Zero. It’s a nice pop album featuring an unusal hybrid of styles and influences. The most clear influence is Stereolab, particularly on the track ‘back to hell’, but there are also traces of My Bloody Valentine in the noises and occasional ethereal backing vocals. Anyway, it’s quite good. I’m not sure I’m going to go ahead and buy it, but if you want to read more, check out Jade Tree records (silly flash site won’t let you link to particular things. I like Flash, but only when it’s embedded in a certain section of a page; when it takes up the whole page it’s just irritating).

Scott Walker: 'Scott' (CD; Fontana; 1967)
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This is a pretty incredible album, full of strong emotions and dense orchestrations. I am utterly enamoured with Scott, yet there are definitely sides to his work which I greatly prefer over others. For example, this opens with 'Mathilde', one of his Brel covers, sung in a flamboyant, caberet style (he also does Brel's 'my death' and 'amsterdam' on this album). It's brilliant, and extremely fun when you're in the mood for it, but for me at least, that's not every day. However, I could listen to 'Montague Terrace in Blue', and especially 'Angelica', every day. Scott's croony, Sinatra-esque side comes out on great tracks like 'When Joanna Loved me' and 'You're gonna hear from me', while 'lady came from Baltimore' has a more folky, country-ish feel. Aside from 'Angelica', my favorites on this album are all written by Scott himself - the superb 'Such a small love' and the truly incredible 'always coming back to you', in which Scott mourns an old love with incredible lucidity and elegance.

note: the orchestrations on this album are by Wally Stott and Peter Knight. Peter Knight went on to orchestrate Elis Regina's 'Elis Regina in London' album, while Wally Stott went on to become a woman.

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