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Big concept, lovely product....
on 28 September 2011
Like most, my introduction to Laurie Anderson was through the hauntingly strange but beautiful O!, Superman, which I bought as 45rpm single. Everybody else I knew (parents, for example! hated it, they almost believing it was sending telepathic messages through its eerie monotonous backing, to their impressionable teenage son.... which, of course, made me love it even more.
Big Science remains my favourite piece from Ms Anderson. Something with a tangible message, wrapped up with ambience and a melancholic, slightly sinister beauty. From there on in, tracks become more experimental and less easy to grasp.
I've always appreciated that Laurie isn't out to produce commercial material and hats off to how she's re-inventing herself, in the true artist's sense and she's always exploring ways to incorporate and encompass her multi-instrumental abilities, her poetry and also that her photography and installation art that she produces have an influence on. Having said that, a lot of the time, I'm just not on her wave-length and maybe because she's taking the American (which she is, of course) slant and taking oblique perceptions on a culture that I'm not familiar with. Unfortunately, however much I try, I'm just not overly induced to try to, either.
The product is beautifully put together, the colour booklet especially. I don't regret buying it but for those looking to sample Ms Anderson on the back of her singles, I'd suggest the Big Science album.