Baxter Dury

Len Parrot's Memorial Lift

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Baxter Dury doesn't follow his dad's lead into quirky punk rock, for his debut album, Len Parrot's Memorial Lift, is a disheveled mix of space rock aesthetic -- misty guitar layers and lingering piano drops swirl around Dury's childhood storybook of being middle class in a posh celebrity world. It's quite clever and imaginative, really. Dury's delicate vocals come to a near-whisper -- certainly not a match for his father's cockney growl -- but set the tone for a wistful set of songs. From the dreamy waltz of "Auntie Jane" to the indie pop wit of "Lucifer's Grain," one will sense that Dury's a poet at heart. Joanna Hussey's warm, honeyed backing vocals gently intertwine on the latter track, but deliver a shining moment on "Oscar Brown." This particular track is a soft-hued beauty, lush in string arrangements that blatantly borrow the chorus from the Velvet Underground's "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'." While the first half of the album flows with a gauzy atmosphere, "Gingham Smalls 2" switches tempo, befooling his English upbringing in a humorous pub rock romp. Len Parrot's Memorial Lift is a meaningful piece of work from Dury Jr., an experimental effort full of professionalism and an original artistic sense. Baxter Dury attempts to be an individualist and he does a good job, but he is Ian's son through and through in a way that music brings alive. Just one listen to "Boneyard Dogs" and you'll know it.

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