Art Brut
It’s a Bit Complicated

Downtown
2007
B+
Reviewed by: Sam Ubl
Reviewed on: 2007-06-25



Posted 06/25/2007 - 09:15:21 AM by florenz6:
 Peaks, where? Once you got the jokes, why listen to them again and again? I think this music is a bit too heavily designed to be catchy, kind of hot-on-the-spot. Highly overrated. Meatbroke will have a good time writing mini-essays about it:)
 
Posted 06/25/2007 - 11:17:37 AM by meatbreak:
 That's Goatmeat MF to you Flo, and YES, I will keep coming back to Art Brut because they understand pop in a way which you really don't seem to be able to or don’t want to, and they can undermine it's stranglehold on society with a really sharp couplet, then in the next one get caught back up in it. They see it as simultaneously disposable yet essential, like air you know, just consume consume without really paying attention but you can’t live without it, yes? Lazy anology o.k. for everyone? How many other rock and roll bands to do you know write songs about being impotent? Wilfully awkward - just like you - with things like having a younger brother who gets into Rock & Roll at 22. You could spend a long time figuring out why he chose 22 instead of 17 like everyone's thinking he should say, but he knows some truths does Mr Argos and damn straight he knows a thing or two about designing catchy tunes. Shit Flo, since when did having the ability to pen something a writer knows will hook people become a criticism for you to level at people after fawning over that tedious criminal offence that is half the coffee-house songstrel wallpaper you love, especially that Paul McCartney's album. Oh GOD!! That I-Tunes advert makes my skin crawl the way he does that awful skippy dance and they've totally over contrasted him to make him look younger, and his fat smug face makes me totally nauseous and that totally self satisfied twirl he does at the end. Deliver us, please. Thank Christ for Art Brut, like a fuckin' h-bomb into all that. Put your head down and run at it. Mr Ubl, this is a terrible, terrible review full of the most worn clichés, forced anachronistic metaphors and bizarrely desperate similes, but because of its horrendous awkwardness I can't help thinking it's rather appropriate, but only vaguely. I think I’m having a bad day, but maybe not, because there’s always one way out, the same way that’s served me for 20 odd years, a contrivance that Argos can see right through. Headphones on.
 
Posted 06/25/2007 - 02:30:47 PM by florenz6:
 I was expecting this, I even heared the arguments before you put them down:) For some people Art Brut may work fine. But, well, meatbroke, this is simply not the rawness I like in rock. It reveals its effects too quickly. A quick-burner, do ya call it that way?! And you´re a bit crazy about my MacCartney remarks - there are two, three songs that really work with a formula of old bliss on his (otherwise) total mainstream album with that producer who did that awful first.......yes, Strokes album! For a constant flow of magic I prefer the fabulous 5-star-albums from Alog ("Amateur", on Rune Grammofon)or the kammerflimmer Kollektief ("Jinx", on Staubgold) And, same level of fascination, I return to the expanded editions of "Colossal Youth" from the Young Marble Giants and "Big Science" form Laurie Anderson. They now got their anniversary editions, that´s great news! And two good exaples for the rawness I love!
 
Posted 06/25/2007 - 03:12:50 PM by florenz6:
 P.S. Re: meatbroke. I must confess I liked one phrase in your mini-essay (which should be a bit more mini next time!) - "the minstrel wallpaper you love". That´s really great, chapeau! It doesn´t matter that it´s intended to be cheap polemic. It´s really an outstanding phrase, which could deliver its magic in a new Bob Dylan-song, for example.I hope you didn´t copy it from an old song:)
 
Posted 06/25/2007 - 03:33:59 PM by florenz6:
 P.P.S. I had a great day, meatbroke, so I´m now sitting in my little office watching how the evening clouds constantly change colours with Eno´s fantastic "Music For Films" coming from the speakers. Great weather today in Germany to listen to Ambient stuff! Well, coming to the point, I Nick Southall should do a new Top 10-list. "The Top-10-songstrel wallpaper-pieces we nearly all love secretly". 50 comments guaranteed! Last word: Art Brut is a franchise thing!
 
Posted 06/26/2007 - 04:51:21 AM by meatbreak:
 Hahaha. Lovely. I'll agree to never mention McCartney again if you leave Is This It alone. Deal? And no, obviously I didn't steal that phrase from Dylan, please, what kind of a person do you think I am? I think Art brut are pretty immediate, yeah, totally agree. Then you go back a year later and yes, still pretty immediate. The riff in Nag Nag Nag Nag is so smart it hurts, and it contains my favourite ever lyric to quote from a song. Doesn't get much better than this, ready? "Quoting lyrics from the CD inlay to impress people with the stupid things I say" Oof. Drum tight like a virgin (also a pretty good lyric to quote - spot the source for 10).

I know you're really into your ambient stuff, but you get to be like a record skipping round, at least until a PR company drops something else onto your mat, like TYMG re-release. Yeah it's good, very good and I've been listening to that album for years, but my idea of Raw is a hell of a lot further out than yours that's for sure. The Marble Giants are sugary sweet and treacle smooth compared to stuff like Bone Awl, Furze, Prurient, Heavy Winged, Wooden Shjips and stuff y'know? I get that you think Eno is the benchmark for ambience, but it has little to do with a band like Art Brut, so where'd that come from? Try dunking your head in bands like Belong, Trollman Av Ildtoppberg, Quetzalcoatl, not to mention the new Stars Of The Lid album - that's so intensly beautiful and ambient - whether it's a great development from Eno is a different issue to how blissfully effective it is. Anyway, I digress. Where the hell did you get Art Brut as a franchise from? That might be an interesting idea if you could find anything of substance to expand it with. So what does that make the Art Goblins? A spin off series? Still can't believe you thought I'd quote Bob Dylan. Ugh.
 
Posted 06/26/2007 - 08:49:17 AM by florenz6:
 Deal done! Answers: 1) Being sugary sweet and raw can be one: see early reggae etc. 2) Eno has nothing to do with Art Brut, it was just around when I was writing my friendly remarks. Well, to quote a another kind of rawness, Eno produced these great "No Wave"-things in his New York days, D.N.A. etc. - I like the energy of that (and there is no sugar in that, isn´t it?) 3)Franchise thing means: I see a formula in that music that is repeated. I cannot laugh about the same joke too often. They seem to water (verwässern) their approach from the debut, which I didn´like either. There are some good and sharp lyrics, but the music simply doesn´t appeal to me too much. 4) Stars of The Lid: great double cd (if you listen closely , they have now done a kind of hidden Eno-cover, containing elements of Discreet Music and Music For Airports) 5) I also love the music of late John Coltrane and Albert Ayler, it´s an endless burst of energies´and another example of "immense rawness" that can blow you away! 6) I didn´t think you were stealing from Dylan, but the Top 10 would be a good one, I think - we all love certain songs, that won´t stand the test of coolness nad reveal our love for sentimental moments. 7) "You get to be like record skipping round till..." Not at all: I earn my living by discovering and re-discovering great music. So there´s always music around! 8) You should go for the Alog-album and then say: "oh, well, wow!" That might be common ground (for two people who like the last three Radiohead albums). 9) Art Brut is a bit simple! 10) Tolerate other opinions without getting personal!
 
Posted 06/26/2007 - 08:56:01 AM by florenz6:
 add to 7) "discovering, re-discovering and presentimg.."
 
Posted 06/26/2007 - 09:35:49 AM by meatbreak:
 O.K. We've cyber-shaken on it. Because I'm awkward, I'll start at 10.

10) Err...don't take this personally, but coming from you, that's a bit rich! My comments pertain to what you write in reference to music only. Our emotional attachment to music is such that if someone knocks what we love, we feel it deep.

9)Why do you think they called their album It's A Bit Complicated? Funny boys.

8)I'll check it out.

7)Yeah me too, kind of. So what? (nicely said). I knew that anyway, so I wonder why you always mention the same names. Maybe you need to get your name on more mailing lists.

6)I like Dr Hook. There, I said it.

5)While I might enjoy ragtime/swing/New Orleans style stuff, no jazz has ever blown me away. Maybe later it might, when I lose the will to live.

4)You mean it sounds like they have, or they actually have? Great titles too.

3)Nothing watered down with the Nags song but fair enough. Well, they are an Indie band.

2)Yes it's still a bit sugary - Eno can't do sonic filth.

1)I'll probably have Susan Cadogan's Congratulations played at my wedding.
 
Posted 06/26/2007 - 10:20:27 AM by florenz6:
 Obviously this is between us. Some hopefully last, not-number-related remarks only consisting of "12 new names" I´ve probably never mentioned before or at very rare occasions only - I´m funny too, at times, meatbreak (you now got your present tense back!): Prince Far I, Marion Brown, Benjamin Lew, Tocotronic, Hans Appelqvist, Jan Bang, Alexander Holmes, Sinikka Langeland, David Torn, Camberwell Now, Novos Baianos, The Sound Dimension, Rita Lee. So, here the little exchange may find its happy ending - tomorrow I will see the new film from Curtis Hanson, "Lucky You" - and I will listen very carefully to the the new Dylan-song at the end of the film - looking out for "the minstrel wallpaper you love":)
 
Posted 06/26/2007 - 11:32:13 AM by grandbanks:
 Meat, don't fear the jazz, just Jazz with a cap J. Borbetomagus is jazz, just like Ornette Coleman and Masada and Ayler. If you give it a shot you'll get your face ripped off in a satisfactory way at some point. I am not the well I should be here, but knowing your tastes it seems you should keep dipping in now and again. Go check the Aquarius site and see what jazz records they are repping. Gonna go vote on the BBC, good luck.
 
Posted 06/27/2007 - 06:44:53 AM by meatbreak:
 Thanks Banks! I'm getting my sorry demo wielding ass kicked by the blog-housers. You're right about the J/j-azz thing. That is my problem. Although in an underground bar in Prague once, a 3-piece, piano drums and double-bass combo played some damn fine stuff and amazingly, the bassist cocked his head at me, winked and pointed to me during a break. Wow. I didn't actually think they did that in real life.