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Past his best?
on 7 April 2012
Most artists have a golden period after which they start to decline; some make one or two fantastic albums, some go on for longer: but eventually the muse begins to fade. The Beatles split very early, Amy Winehouse died after 2 wonderful albums: and yes Mark Everett's body of work stands comparison with the very greatest artists who have appeared since the sixties.
Well, E has had a much longer run than most with a string of 6 terrific albums from Beautiful Freak to Blinking Lights and Other Revelations (7 if you count "A man called E"). And these albums mostly came hot on the heels of each other, as if he could hardly record the stuff quickly enough, it was coming to him so quickly.
But now the ideas have slowed down, and the songs sound crafted instead of spontaneous, as if the creativity is running out, and he's trying to squeeze the most he possibly can from the limited ideas left. That's not to say that this is a bad album, it isn't: but it's a pale shadow of those 6 or 7 albums. And let's face it, the variety and scope of those recordings is far more than we had any right to expect.
I'll still buy his next release hoping for a miraculous return to form, but this is the third album after Hombre Lobo and End Times which don't quite cut it alongside his finest.