Like many people, I love to discover something great and keep it all for myself. So it's a bit irritating that we live in a society that lauds bygone music and where ad-men rape and pillage our musical heritage so that the dust hasn't properly settled on anything decent that has been produced since the 30s. OK, that's mainly a good thing I suppose, but it's still irritating.
Given that this is the case, you may well have heard some of the Walker Brothers music even if you've never heard of the Walker Brothers. They were an American band in the 60s who had a few hits over here including 'Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore' and 'Take it Easy On Yourself' - That was Scott Walker. He was the band's main man.
So now you know roughly where he started, I think you'll be a little surprised to know where he's ended up – Basically, any similarity between those songs and what Scott is doing now is purely none-existent.
I think it's fair to say that, over the years, Scott Walker has proved himself to be a very unusual man. He's something of a legend in some circles and rightly so – There aren't many people who could produce something quite so strange and evocative and subsequently, he's kind of hard to describe.
But I have to write something…
Imagine the bastard child of Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave, living alone in a circa 1972, mouldy, 2 birth caravan in the middle of a cow field in north Wales. It's pissing down with rain and his roof is leaking. He's got no booze, just lighter fluid; no woman just a piss-stinking goat that's too tired to fight; nothing to read except for his well-thumbed copy of 'Satanic Operatic Warbling for Dummies' …and he's feeling a bit sorry for himself cos his pet rabbit has just died (following a prolonged bout of severe depression brought on by its sense of spiritual poverty and existential malaise). That's what Scott's music brings to mind…
More or less.
As for the album itself, you definitely won't be pressing 'play, pause, play' on this one for the obligatory game of Pass the Parcel at your niece's next birthday party.
It's music, yes… But it's much more like modern art – It's confusing, inaccessible, disturbing and yet (and here's the really weird bit) it's very compelling. In fact, you could probably grow to love this album – REALLY love it.
But only if you like sheep floating in Formaldehyde…
There are many who worship at his (probably cloven) feet and, judging by 'The Drift', I can see why. He makes you want to listen even if you hate what you're hearing. And then he makes you want to keep listening 'til you don't hate what you're hearing anymore. It's the musical equivalent of eating olives!
For the record, I liked this album a lot but I suspect it's like the One Ring that ruled them all - it will probably consume me, warp me, make me want to keep it all for myself…
But then you'll probably let me have it!
Ahh… THAT'S why people love modern art!!