: I do love 2 the 9s, it’s the best case of funk wrapped in pop — though the grinding is way too long and pushes the neat melodic resolution too far afield. I woulda George Martin’d it myself. Another highpoint, production-wise for me, is the way he doubles real and synthesised instruments, specifically the trombone v the chintzy keyboard horns (though they may be real/ acoustic, it sounds tinnily electronic to me) on The Flow. Or layering real drums in tandem with machine beats. Another little thing I got to thinking re this album is that I like my funk cut with a strong sense of songwriting — not hooks and neat choruses per se, though P does them superbly, but a sense of crafting and progression in addition to a groove. Where most groove bands fall down is in not having either enough progressive chops or turns or changes in their groove: they just clatter on for hours with that Oh Yeah look that funk bands do so well — it doesn’t have to be verse-chorus-verse all the way, but a sense of giving the listener good value in variety and progression in song. P is always right on this. Another good example, to draw a far analogy, is Kelly Watch the Stars by Air — there’s not much lyrics-structuring here, but they craft a full three minute pop sense simply by modulation, mix and variety — watch the pacing of it. It’s only one lyric, but they disguise the music so that it doesn’t seems so, and in better ways than DJs with those inane stop starts and build-ups with a thousand beats crammed in, you know, brrrrbrbrbrbrbbrbrbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (quiet bit) boom.
You know, I found a very old little address book recently (from when I was 18, ah, the years!) with a list of books to be read in the back. Amongst which Under the Volcano
, Genet’s Lady/Roses
, and Petersburg
. And I still haven’t got to it yet. My Petersburg detour got taken up with Raskolnikov and co, and I thought that was enough of a bee’s knee not to go back. Just read ASByatt’s neat little book on Portraits in Fiction (Balzac/Noiseuse gets mention, as well as the usual offenders and some inaresting exceptions), and on spur of her recent Guardian piece
actually got out Middlemarch from the library. Not because I’m into 19th C women’s classics per se but for what I’m realising is the simple, effective prose style. Almost calmly precise yet entirely easy to read. And also got YSKOV by the Eggman but that one ain’t so easy. I want easy reads, dammit. I can’t believe I’m saying it but it’s true. I also find that I like tempering a Romantic Balzac session (face it, he’s pretty mad for the cap R there) with the cool antidote of a-romantic tracts like Human, All too Human or the crisp Florentian breeze of Machiavelli. Also on the recents list is Burton’s expansive melancholy latinate and mad long lists. But I will instruct my trusty library assistant to retrieve Woman In White and that will be the one for the read. I did send an earlier communiqué suggesting a Balzac short (Chabert or Sarassine) but it got lost in the regular myrealbox breakdowns, I believe.
Onward, forwards to new prose!