of no little talent. This is his first iull—length release and it is peppered \.‘.’llll great moments. from the Mogwai-meets~New Order of opener ‘Half Truth' to the achineg fragile Sparklehorse crackle of ‘Won't Last Forever".
Throughout The Old Fox of '45. Howie blends inventive instrumentation and sounds with simple melodies and a dreamy vocal to create a record which is both. atmospheric and intimate. The pace is lethargic. but the aim is true and the heart is strong in this beautiful little record.
A GIRL CALLED EDDY
A Girl Called Eddy (Alill) 000.
singer SOllg‘erlCl‘ ‘Eddy ior Erin Moran. as she was christenedi has a long way to go if she wants to live up to song titles such as ‘Girls Can Really Tear You Up Inside and 'People
Used to Dream About the Future'. But. hell. she comes pretty close with this. an album of subtle arrangements and big. warm. open- armed choruses for those of us prone to a wee bit of reflection from time to time.
Under the eye of producer Richard Hawley. she manages a remarkable range of textures — the Dusty-like sweet of ‘Somebody Hurt You'. the sombre creak of ‘Kathleen'. and the rousing KD Lang meets-Ryan Adams grace of "The Long Goodbye'. Really rather lovely. lDavrd Pollock)
A Ghost is Born (Nonesuch) 00000
This record is genius. Havrng invented
alt.country years ago. Jeff Tweedy and his bandmates promptly abandoned it on 2002's Yankee Hote/ foxtrot for something much more interesting and A Ghost is Born continues where that sublime record left off. This album is intimate yet expansive. experimental yet familiar. poetic yet rock'n'roll. and it constantly challenges the listener yet £1l‘«.'.’£1\,'8 comes up trumps. Wilco are so far ahead of the competition that comparisons are superfluous. Although arbitrarily rooted in country rock. songs like ‘Hell is Chrome' and "Mu/zle of Bees' are beautiful. original. en‘otiye. pox'xerful. confident and utterly. uncategorisal)le. Truly air/es )lllC stuff.
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Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes iTouch and Go) I...
Of all the tunes on therr debut EP. the acapella \.'(}l'f‘)|()ll of the Pixres' 'Mr (‘rrieves' see'i‘ed the least l|k(?l\, jumping-off point for lVOTR's debut album. And yet it has proved to he. Wisely so in retrospect. for Tunde Adebimpe's voice is one of the most dy'ia'itic to rise out of the iv‘deper‘dents in years. His control on sinister lone songs such as 'Don't I one You and \‘Jear You Out' is stunnir‘g - f'ro'i‘ ‘.'.'l)|53l)(}l to operatic yaxn'p. The pers )llétl and the social collide ‘.'.’lll) aplomb in his l‘:,l'l(IfS it o ~ those to 'Bo'r‘b Yourself being
the best examples.
Behind him. Kyp Malone and the brothers Sitek build a wall of avant-pop sound which should help lay New York's CBGBs' ghost to rest for the second time. This is very good. lTim Abrahams)
RON SEXSMITH Retriever
(Nettwerk America) 0..
Ron Eldon Sexsmith‘s eighth album is dedicated to the memories of the recently deceased Johnny Cash and Elliott Smith. while on the cover he looks as though someone's nabbed the last cream slice. Yet. once you hear the songs you'd think he's been spending more time at kids' parties as Krusty the Klown's sidekick
rather than mooching around celebrity graves.
Cranking up the jaunty factor are merry old Ed HarCOurt (who apparently recorded the piano parts wearing just his pants) and Travis skin-slapper Neil Primrose. Retriever is not so much a dog- eared affair but a puppy running amok with a bag of rubber bones.
EL ECTRONICA WAGON CHRIST Sorry I Make You Lush (Ninja Tune) 0...
Predicting feel good hits for the summer is a tricky thing to do. But if there is any justice Luke Vibert’s fifth album as Wagon Christ will be drifting out of windows up and down the land as soon as the temperature sneaks above 20 degrees.
The saccharine sweet electronica. the juicy funk basslines and the tasty drum patterns are exactly what one expects of him. This
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