Saturday, 18 October 2008

So I got a promo of the new Arthur Russell record... review (by way of a lucky toin coss - although I choose to interpret it as providence). It's called Love Is Overtaking Me, and it's a collection of 21 variegated demos from across his career; from solo, voice-and-guitar country ballads to shiny 60s/70s folk rock (a la James Taylor) to more disco-oriented fare with dinky electronic loops.

It's very pretty it is, although it feels more like a (chronological?) jaunt through his responses to various influences than any kind of definitive artistic 'statement'. The label (Audika/Rough Trade) is promoting the record as a look at Russell's singer-songwriter persona, so I guess this effect is partially intentional.

Anyway, hearing Russell playing around with various pop forms has me thinking about the unusual quality of his musical career; ie synthesising cello lessons, Indian classical music, folk rock, disco & c (grammatical figure in memory of David Foster Wallace) into a versatile but highly personal musical language/methodology/episteme (ahem). Like how this compares to the classical/romantic image of the Artist and His relationship to the things that feed His work.

Hmm...hold that though.

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