Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Mike Bones - A Fool for Everyone (Vice 2009)

For the record I really like this album. I can’t understand the cover though. It’s bad. I’m not concerned so much about the nudity, just the lack of imagination. Oh well, it’s a pithy comment to make when the music itself is pretty damn good. Mike Bones is a lyricist full of angst and the earnest passion of his belief in putting the world to rights sets forth a pathetic almost teenage character, naive yet impassioned and this is his greatest feat, because at times he sounds like a young Bob Dylan. It’s magical. From the nervy loss of ‘Like a Politician’ that deals with the duality inherent in such a job, to the bittersweet love and infatuation of ‘What I Have Left’, he peppers his couplets with sheer visual imagery, so forthright in their imagination. The music is a worthy force too. With a lustrous backing, he creates palettes of texture and depth. ‘What I Have Left’ starts gently before building into a string-laden crescendo. ‘A Fool for Everyone’ brings an attitude worthy of its spiky lyrical content. The guitars duel and clash and spiderweb over your ears like multi-layered layers of sound and melody. The songwriting is pretty sharp throughout and the mixture of styles from straight out rock to the folkier quieter moments all show a breadth of experience and a diversity of influences from Dylan to Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen. All adept at writing political songs and long songs imbued with sardonic wit and a dark turn of phrase but a full heart and a body leaking with passion.


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