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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Real Tuesday Weld
The Return Of The Clerkenwell Kid
Six Degrees Records

Rating: 2.5/10 ?

August 8, 2005
Listening to The Return of the Clerkenwell Kid, I find myself wondering, "can vocals be arrogant?" Not taking into account what's being said, can the actual voice itself sound self-important?

The answer to this question is clear by track five, if not before. "L'Amour Et La Mort" is supposed to be one of the hits from the latest Real Tuesday Weld disc, but it is without a doubt the disc's worst song. If the French title about love and death isn't enough to turn you away, the lyrics about love and death will be: "Well I don't believe I'm in love/until I'm in love" is how The Real Tuesday Weld (a.k.a. Stephen Coates) chooses to begin his epic song. Soon to follow is the line "And though it's written in the stars/You're from Venus, I'm from Mars." Though there are four months left in 2005, I am confident I will not hear lyrics any worse than this for the rest of the year, even if I somehow end up at Van's Warped Tour.

But it's not what Coates says that is so punishing; it is, rather, how he says it. In what I imagine is an attempt to seem deep, beautiful and complex, Coates whispers his vocals over electronic, slow rag tunes. When he thoughtfully considers, "Daisies/I've always liked daises" on "Daisies," all I can hear is "Gainsbourg, I really want to be Gainsbourg." This weak attempt is mirrored in the vaguely-French atmosphere Coates grafts onto the CD with French titles and lyrics.

When he's not singing, The Real Tuesday Weld can put together a decent electronic number. "At The House of the Clerkenwell Kid" sounds like a Mark Mothersbaugh-made-for-Wes Anderson original with its combination of synth and piano. "Bruises" features vocals, but not Coates', so it is another track that immediately stands out as being not-annoying. Briefly after this short song, however, The Return of the Clerkenwell Kid continues with its brand of piss-poor songs about sunshine, rain and "Asteroids."

Whenever an opportunity to shine comes up on this album, The Real Tuesday Weld can only botch it completely. Towards the end of the disc on "I Love the Rain," I'll take any lyrics other than Coates'. When I hear "It's raining/it's pouring," I logically expect it to be followed by "The old man is snoring," and I am relieved for the cliché as long as it gives me a break from Coates' terrible couplets. I don't get that relief, because the next line is "But I ain't complaining/cause I love the rain." This moment pretty much sums up the entire album: in a word, disappointing.

Reviewed by Andy Brown
A regular contributor to LAS, Andy Brown lives in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, but doesn\'t think he has an accent.

See other reviews by Andy Brown



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