The Real Tuesday Weld

I, Lucifer

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    8
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The music on I, Lucifer is almost impossible to categorize. Intended as a soundtrack to the Glen Duncan novel of the same name, the album is sort of a cross between a song cycle and a tone poem that depicts the Devil's attempt to return to earth and take another shot at mortality and repentance. There's something of a Tom Waits feel to the whole affair -- the song cycle's story line and the faint cabaret flavor that infuses many of the songs both hint at Franks Wild Years, and "Someday (Never)," with its decrepit accordion and charmingly louche vocal style, sounds suspiciously like a deliberate homage to the latter album's "Innocent When You Dream (78)." But there are many other pop-culture referents as well: 1960s spy movies ("One More Chance"), a sort of twisted puirt a beul (the charmingly quirky "Bathtime in Clerkenwell"), and French retro folk-pop ("Bete et la Belle"), just to name a few. Stephen Coates, the artist who records as the Real Tuesday Weld, uses sampling and collage techniques throughout, but the overall feel of the album is warm and organic and surprisingly gentle; there are few insistent beats or power chords, just lots and lots of carefully-constructed quiltworks of sound that coalesce into startlingly attractive post-postmodern pop music. (The CD includes a wonderful animated video for the song "Bathtime in Clerkenwell.") Very highly recommended.

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