Weekly Capsule Reviews – 30/10/2016


This week: Leonard Cohen, Kings of Leon, Pixies

Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker (21/10/2016 – Columbia Records)

Cohen faces the inevitability of the six-feet-under… again. His troubled, husky tone gives us the insight into an artist’s joust with death and the resignation that naturally precedes it. But Cohen’s resignation seems a fruitful one, one in which he can leave behind the fruits of his labour with ease and comfort; “I’m ready, my lord” he says with a bow of contemplative solace. A wishful treaty to lock in his love but also musing over how a loveless life would pan out are what he’s leaving behind; that’s what he’s jettisoning travelling to his final (?) destination with a light load. And whether that destination is the six-feet-under or another album he’s happy either way. If it’s the latter he’ll find more love-longing to jettison our way. If so, I’m below, ready to gather. (8/10) [Dorney’s Top Records of 2016: #15]

Kings of Leon – WALLS (14/10/2016 – RCA Records)

Caleb Followill feels as free as he’s ever had, and I say this remembering vividly the days of “Sex on Fire” on the radio—every fucking day—for eternity to curse and drunkards to flock to the dance floor for for eternity. Maybe not as heavy on the riffs—but just as radio-friendly—as say the “garage” days. More driveway, shall we say? Or let’s say garage, with the door open, for the neighbours to hear these good Southern boys listening to the reverend on the radio. (7/10)

Pixies – Head Carrier (30/09/2016 – Pixiesmusic/PIAS Recordings)

In favour of a more melodious milieu, Pixies have further relinquished what we have come to expect from them on a song-by-song basis—indiscernible lyrics but a formula of well-heeled (even if they don’t want it) noise-rock/alt-rock. And maybe we’re expecting too much. They’ve shown since the much-heralded and more accessible (?) Doolittle that they can do sales. And why shouldn’t they continue on a more commercial path from that? Because we’re nostalgic hacks who won’t/can’t let go of the past. Don’t they know they’re making music for us?! Jeez! (5/10)


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