Baxter Dury

Prince of Tears

Heavenly

Oct 31, 2017 Issue #62 - Julien Baker Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Mood swings abound on Baxter Dury's whimsical album Prince of Tears. It's what can be expected from an artist that creates original music sounding like a combination of a less trippy of Montreal and a less quirky The Real Tuesday Weld all while channeling Lou Reed.  

Each song is built on a steady rhythm section framework of bouncy bass lines and balanced beats. Glossy synths and occasional guitars flesh out most tracks. The exceptions are "Miami" and "Porcelain" (featuring the vocals of Rose Elinor Dougall) that open the album with a dark and dusky feel but not one of desolation. Instead it's more like a slick, slow subway darkness with flashes of neon lights refracting through the glass, one that even conjures the moody music of Portishead.  

Dury lightens the mood on the rest of the album with more playful melodies but adds bite with his sarcastic wit and cynical world views. Often foregoing singing for a snarly sing-speak similar to what Lou Reed made famous, although with a wonderful Cockney accent and more swearing. The use of female back-up singers during harmonized choruses further extends this comparison but certainly with an updated and modern feel.

"Listen" and "August" are standout tracks that perfectly capture Dury's whimsical energy by combining slick beats with short, simple, and quirky nuggets of sound that form tight clever hooks over the bouncy rhythms.

Sounding a bit bare at first, it may take a few spins for Prince of Tears to reveal its appeal but it shows the younger Dury (Baxter is the son of famous rock 'n' roller Ian Dury, of Ian Dury and the Blockheads) is a talented songwriter in his own right. (www.baxterdury.net)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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