Klaus Nomi

Simple Man

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Coming off such a left-field debut, it was up in the air as to what Klaus Nomi would do for a follow-up. That second album was Simple Man, and if listeners were unsure if the first album was a put-on, this one certainly didn't do much to clear things up. While the album starts out promisingly with an atmospheric fade-in followed by a hard dance number with the occasional Birthday Party-style guitar thrown in, the rest of the album did its damnedest to move the album's overall tone to one of self-parody. Could one really think any differently listening to the hyper-sugary cover of "Just One Look," the faux-country disco number "Rubberband Lazer," or the version of "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead"? As with the debut album, Nomi's true capabilities are shown off by his versions of classical works -- in this case, "Death" (taken from Henry Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas") and "Return" (which is based on a choral number by John Dowland). The thing is, those pieces are right at the end of the album and the listeners who would enjoy them the most will probably already have been long shaken off by all of the kitsch leading up to it.

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