Monday, 28 January 2013
Top 102 Albums. No 60. Colossal Youth
Top 102 Albums. No 60.
Colossal Youth - Young Marble Giants
There is something tentative and provisional about this album. It can seem at times like a blueprint for something grander, more elaborate but I can't help thinking that this is its greatest strength. It was in the air at the time, everyone seemed to know enough about deconstruction to namedrop Jacques Derrida when too drunk to remember they didn't understand it. So here we have some of the pieces of popular music, put together with sticky tape, paper clips and precision.
There are times when the music can sound like the soundtrack to a children's tv series about clockwork toys (Wind in the Rigging). One of their early songs was called Ode to Booker T (it's on the expanded version) but they have removed the swagger, the emotional engagement of soul. I also love Include me Out for sounding like Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love but NOT. The music pulses to the bass and the gently metronomic beat of their early drum machine. It's a close enough relation to XTC's Go 2 (No 61) for one to have led me to the other.
The singer, Alison Statton sounds like one of the cool girls standing outside the youth club, smiling and diffident, scraping her shoe on the kerb as if to remove something unpleasant. She sounds like she's somewhere else. You know you're not smart enough or cool enough to engage her but you wish you were.
In the end this sounds like itself and little else. A great record. Listen.