A.R. Kane


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If nothing else, David Byrne deserves commendation for putting this out; Rough Trade's collapse the previous year left A.R. Kane even more obscure than before, so having some major label pull didn't hurt! While just a compilation of various tracks from their Rough Trade career, Americana remains much better than nothing. However, both sixty-nine and "i" are far more complete and best heard as albums than the slightly scattershot arrangement of selected tracks here, which feels a bit odd as a result. Regardless, many of the band's most striking moments, such as "Supervixens," "A Love From Outer Space," "And I Say" and "The Madonna Is With Child," appear, along with some rarities to boot. Then-new track "Water" is more slight than the usual fare, though the acoustic guitar-driven "Green Hazed Daze," from an early single, wears its Cocteauness on its sleeve strongly. The real keeper, though, is "Up," from another single -- an endlessly building slow beauty of a track driven by eight repeated notes, more echo and reverb than thought possible and a quietly exultant Rudi lyric. Not a bad place to start if you can't find anything else.

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