Flick the Vs
Journeys can often end up in rather unexpected ways; the wrong place with the wrong people, no luggage, where's my passport? I need a drink and then I'll figure it all out etc etc. Some people, no names here, go on holidays together as a couple only to break up after a few weeks on their Asian trip and end up in separate rooms. One sitting in looking at the door waiting for a knock while filing her nails, the other sitting at a bar up the road in god forsaken Phuket spending all his money as fast as he can on as much booze as he can while clinging to the last two proprietors in the vicinity for a conversation (bought Danish). This gentleman never guessed he would, not soon after, be racing down the road howling back at the silhouette following him, flagging his arms wildly, damning himself for smoking that last bit of weed with the nice dreaded Jamaican barman, Maxi.
This album is like that. It's not clear what it is really. But it's a journey. It opens with 'No One it Better' which can only be described as Robotic-Dubstepping with all its lovely chugging and lustre mono vocals...and then it spills into a drums driven vehicle for its unsinkable refrain of 'If you want this, you can have it, but you let me go, now.' Seven and a half minutes long and every second is worth a second or third or forth listen. This is a sad sorrowful album, full of images of ships wrecked on shores, maybe wrecked on the heart and soul Kenny Anderson. One can imagine him a-top cliffs and facing the shuddering elements to strum his guitar, forced forward with by Steve Mason behind him prodding him with a stick. The refrains and the gorgeous emotional lyrics and swooning continue across the board here. There are no weak moments. From 'Two Frocks at the Wedding' with its drums drowning in fuzz, that voice cradled in tears and tissue, through the basso nova brass thump of 'No Way She Exists' to the wonderful single 'Coast On By' to the lingering, dying violins and accordion of 'Saw Circular Prowess' recorded far away on another planet, beamed down straight at us.
Flick the Vs shows an inert imagination and growth over the ten tracks; beginning with one sound and ending with an altogether different one. Anderson's album is a tangle with all sorts of glorious bits and pieces. It twists and turns fighting any sort of convention, all the while creating what must surely be a contender for album of the year. One would be hard pressed to find anything so rigorously bright, original, stark and fragile while being both simultaneously, incredibly entertaining and endlessly playable
The Review of the Year of Things #1: Jason Lewis surveys the years' great albums and noting so many, compartmentalized, as men do. So, here, albums by those so profoundly impacted by Death