Monday, 3 December 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #340 - Bat For Lashes, "The Haunted Man"

Something is not quite on-beam about this album. I feel as though I should enjoy it, that there ought to be something in it for me. There are some layers of sophistication, a varnish on the music, that seem to move it away from something vital. "Oh Yeah" is somehow too lush, which is not something I ever expected to imagine - too cold. Too Jools Holland.

The tension within the music seems more resolved, or at least makes more sense on "Laura". Though I'm not entirely sure what it's about. "Your name is tattooed on every boy's skin." The brass is more pleasing and fills in the gaps better than the synths had done. On "Marilyn" her voice soars up into its older form again. But stuff is missing somehow. The warmth or magic or fear that was in the middle. That was present in "Daniel", her opening gambit from the previous album three or so years ago. She seems inspired by people's names.

The self-mythology is still there. I imagine her transmogrified into all manner of beasts and birds. The cover picture would be arresting, but it's a shame she's in the nuddy. All too easy to market the feminine when its tits are out. "Rest Your Head" has a pleasing rattle to it, that propulsion. "Winter Fields" builds up from a chapped flute sound to muscular timpani and ancient-sounding keyboard. Heavy brush strokes of Kate Bush, as she's been coloured by since she first arrived making these lush, bruised noises.

I first heard this, dipping in and out of consciousness whilst feeding my little lad Jasper. Turns out it was released on his birthday, which is a neat turn of events.

Rating: Dipping In And out of Transmogrification

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