Top positive review
23 people found this helpful
A timeless sophisticated masterpiece
on 30 March 2002
Alot of music critics and listeners have seriously misjudged this album. The more discerning critic and listener has thrilled to this album's nuances, its sheer class and sophistication. This album is by some distance the finest achievement of Kurt Wagner's career to date. It makes Nixon look pretty ordinary. With the absence of the slightly irritating falsetto that Wagner displayed on that album, this is pure, hardcore Kurt - absolutely focused, delivering each phrase with a mastery befitting the finest jazz singers. Just the way he sings/speaks the final lines on the second track, The New Cobweb Summer - 'The hunter is asleep, at least that's what I call him, in the afternoon of the new cobweb summer' - is transcendentally beautiful and profound. Throughout, Kurt's vocals are so perfectly judged, the lyrics his most precise and illuminating and brilliantly idiosyncratic. He sings unfathomable lines as if they were the most direct and moving lyrics ever written. 'My Blue Wave' is so achingly sad; it goes on forever, but it doesn't matter, because its structure is so perfect. If Gershwin was around, he'd say - 'that's a great song!' - even if he was bemused by the ultra-ultra maudlin and dog-loving lyric. Some of the instrumentation is so softly played that one can barely hear it, and this is what discerning listeners have failed to pick up on; this album belongs to a previous age, when nuance and subtlety actually counted. The ears of contemporary listeners have to adapt, after all the in-your-face, full on nonsense that prevails these days. This is an album I listen to twice a day, every day, and it never fails to put me under its spell. Every second of this album is a fragment of beauty. Perhaps the most striking piece of all is 'Caterpillar', as Kurt intones like an all seeing poet before succumbing to panicky longing. The one track that falls slightly short of the unbelievable standard set, is D. Scott Parsley, which is more lighthearted than the other tracks, and works as a kind of perky interlude. But perhaps a mood-alterer is necessary, as for the most part, the album is like walking very slowly in a silent dream, solemn and satisfying and a completely bewitching experience. The album works as a complete vision, a dream captured in sound. A haunting meandering journey through the mind of a twenty first century visionary. As much a painting as a musical work. Ignore all negative reviews of this album, for it is a rarefied masterpiece that will prove as beguiling in a hundred years from now.