Fagan and the People: Admiral of the Narrow Seas (Aeroplane)

 |   |  1 min read

Fagan and the People: Prised
Fagan and the People: Admiral of the Narrow Seas (Aeroplane)

Possibly because he is busy on so many other things -- see his answers to the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire -- Andrew Fagan acknowledges this album was "recorded all over the place" and comes with a long list of contributors.

Interestingly a pivotal figure is multi-instrumentalist Darryn Harkness on whose New Telapathics album Clapping with Rockets Fagan contributed some vocals.

Fagan could have easily settled for some serviceable mainstream radio pop-rock (there are songs here which, in a different incarnation, could have been that) but he pushes himself with younger company and some dense arrangments which are challenging.

It hits an early peak with the excellent, grinding rock-meets-free jazz of Religion.

Songs like the grand guitar pop of Get Light and cannoning Blame Me (sort of early Blur gone bitter, "blame me for what was spoken, none if us were joking") could easily fit into some alt.radio programming, and Clemency sounds like it comes from a man half his age as he yelps or gets echoed over wah-wah and buzzsaw guitars.

Prised is one of those wonderfully discordant songs which brings to mind Chris Knox as it steers a course between lo-fi pop and slightly snarling cynicism, Between the Day opens with strings and a yearning tone ("between the day and to the light all there ever seemed to be was fight"?) before turning into crunching quasi-prog guitars and Cinemascope.

But there is undistinguished material here, notably in the final third with the leaden Try, the oddly familiar I Know (can't quite place it, old Jesus Jones?) and 1813 -- and although the final track Messiah bristles with rage and a horn section it is bogged down with inconsequential lyrics which are unbecoming to the assembled firepower.

Fagan has clearly pushed himself -- vocally at times it sounds it -- and that is admirable. With culling this could have made a stronger statement and one more consistent with the strongest material here which mostly seems pushed into the first half.

A bit "all over the place". 


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

ONE WE MISSED: Sal Valentine and the Babyshakes (P&W/Border)

ONE WE MISSED: Sal Valentine and the Babyshakes (P&W/Border)

Because Elsewhere is a one-man outfit, "we" can't be everywhere at once -- and sometimes we are very elsewhere -- so every now and again there will be slightly apologetic postings under... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Glen Campbell: Ghost on the Canvas (Inertia)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Glen Campbell: Ghost on the Canvas (Inertia)

Alongside his Alzheimer's diagnosis and a farewell tour comes this self-announced “final studio album” by the 75-year old legend whose career spans from LA session guitar work in the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE WHITEHALL MANDARIN by EDWARD WILSON

THE WHITEHALL MANDARIN by EDWARD WILSON

Consider how ripe the political pickings of the late 50s and early 60s are for anyone writing a spy thriller. There is cigar-chomping Castro in Cuba helming a people's... > Read more

The Temptations: Message from a Black Man (1969)

The Temptations: Message from a Black Man (1969)

In its early days Motown didn't directly address political issues -- although there's a good case to be made that its very existence and popular success was, like rock'n'roll of the Fifties, a... > Read more