Friday, May 21, 2021

Lambchop - Showtunes


                                                           'Life will be the death of us all.'

So many musical Lockdown statements have already been made and now it seems it's time for Lambchop and Kurt Wagner's. Their fourteenth album Showtunes find him once again pushing at the boundaries of what a Lambchop record is supposed to sound like with surprising and often intriguing results. 

Showtunes is an extended reverie essentially and a highly effective one, if heard in the right conditions and with the listener in the right frame of mind. Eschewing conventional instrumentation and structure, in many respects it comes across as a Jazz record, planting impressions rather than abiding by familar expectations.

Wagner inputs lyrical shape to proceedings occasionally but more often refrains from doing so allowing the listener to join the dots instead. This makes for a deeply immersive experience and as such, a highly successful one, at least to my ears.

When Wagner does come centre stage, he often strikes similar shapes to Bill Callahan, who has a comparably droll and wry persona. I'm no Lambchop completist but should definitely check out their back catalogue at some point. Wagner and his chosen vehicle are embarked on a fascinating journey that admirably rejects the given road.

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