The Jazz Butcher

A Scandal in Bohemia

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    9
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Recording with a stable backup band, the Jazz Butcher here puts together a top-shelf diamond of a record that is filled with excellent, memorable songs. Diverse styles are deftly referenced here and the lyrics are focused, wry, and often killer clever. The sound quality is a big improvement over that of his prior release, In Bath of Bacon. The drivingly tuneful "Southern Mark Smith" and "Girlfriend" are in a ringing folk-pop style. "I Need Meat" is a jumpy, neo-rockabilly number. "Marnie" deftly mixes funk and ethnic influences. "My Desert" is essentially a sea chantey or campfire singalong with ironically downbeat lyrics. "Caroline Wheeler's Birthday Present" is a fuzzed-out hard rock parody with irreverently Dylan-esque "I Shall Be Free" style lyrics. "Just like Betty Page" is an uptempo, acoustic guitar based, top-tapping delight. And the wonderfully inventive "Real Men" utilizes a bizarre accompaniment of thudding drums, rumbling bass, and sparkling glockenspiel surrounding hilarious lyrics that attack macho attitudes. Don't pass up this album if you can find it.

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