Willie Loco Alexander is a throwback to the beatniks. Admittedly Jack Kerouac influenced, the spoken word pieces by this jazz drummer also recall the spacious wasteland of another jazz fan as performed by actor Chris Parker in Jim Jarmush's Permanent Vacation. But prose poems are not all that is to be found on this collection of material which spans a decade. This original member of the Boston punk scene also put together some odd music. "Chinatown in Cinemascope" is an evocative, ambient piece of urban, environmental sounds and synthesized material suitable for a film noir soundtrack. "Somewhere in the Good Voyage Lounge" is a one-minute exhibition of guitar dissonance, French radio excerpts and synthesizer. "Aqua Scratch / for Magnus & Mango" is a primitive drum machine leading to a keyboard non sequitur. But the majority of the album is spoken word: Willie's confessional remembrances phrased in a hip vocabulary, and healthy slices of atmosphere able to be recalled only by someone was has spent four decades on the fringes of the music scene. "Beyond the Lavazza," with its album-defining phrase, "she listens to Pearl Jam, well I'll be damned if I can," is representative of the authentic, if rugged, production throughout; papers shuffle as loud as the words are spoken and clearly the rain outside (thorough an open window?) can be heard. For its color and intimacy, The Holy Babble is supremely listenable.
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AllMusic Review by Tom Schulte