Scott Walker + Sun O))): Soused (4AD)

 |   |  <1 min read

Scott Walker + Sun O))): Brando
Scott Walker + Sun O))): Soused (4AD)

Scott Walker's setting a breathless pace these days: it was usually a decade between albums but after The Drift (06) just six years before Bish Bosch and now only two years since that typically demanding, commanding art music.

For newcomers, London-based American-born Walker was the romantically brooding baritone on Walker Brothers pop hits in the Sixties, moved towards European music, and in the past three decades has intermittently released challenging albums of declamatory operatic-like (melo)drama in imaginative sonic settings with often impenetrable lyrics. Albums either grip you vice-like or you snicker at their pretension and often comic portentousness.

I'm mostly among his admirers and this – comparing only to his own work, of course -- is quite something.

With LA metal-noise merchants Sun O))) and guests providing buzzing sonic backdrops and chasms of disconcerting but melodic noise, Walker has appropriately claustrophobic, consistent and atmospherically uncomfortable settings for his emotionally dense and abstract poetics.

If there's a problem it's that his subjects – the emotionally damaged Marlon Brando, the massacre of innocents, unspoken fetishes – all get similarly stentorian delivery which leavens out nuance.

That said, this inspired collaboration across five long pieces counts among his best. Unlike anything you've heard before . . . unless it came from Walker.

A box set of Walker's earlier career is considered here and there is a lengthy archival interview with him here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Caroline Herring: Golden Apples of the Sun (Ode)

Caroline Herring: Golden Apples of the Sun (Ode)

The previous album by this Atlanta-based singer-songwriter, Lantana of last year, was a revelation: her crystalline vocals conjured up the purity of Joan Baez but her sometimes dark subject matter... > Read more

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Searching for Sugar Man (DVD)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Searching for Sugar Man (DVD)

To be honest, for reasons I could never quite understand this doco about Rodriguez really took off. Was it because people hadn't previously heard of the guy (they should have been reading... > Read more

Ocean Colour Scene: Here in my Heart

Ocean Colour Scene: Here in my Heart

It was one of the saddest days I can recall, and yet it had started out so well in Birmingham, a place where I had been drawn to interview the Britpop band Ocean Colour Scene in their hometown. It... > Read more