Sunday, 16 August 2009

The Durutti Column - Love In The Time Of Recession (Japanese Edition)

Last weekend the Japanese edition of the Durutti Column's latest album `Love In The Time Of Recession' (released in the UK, March 2009) landed in my hallway. Well, not quite. I had a customs fee to pay, so had to collect it from the post office - £13.12 to be exact and that was on top of what I had to pay for the actual CD (£17.00)and the shipping cost (£4.00)from Japan. All for 3 bonus tracks. A bargain! At least it would be if any of them were any good.

Out of the three bonus tracks, it's hard to pick anything positive. `Duet For Piano and Guitar' (mis-titled as `The Secret Between The Blade And Me') is just a variant of `Painting', a track already on the album. `The Secret Between The Blade And Me' (mis-titled as `Duet For Piano and Guitar') carries on in a similar minimal vein, and sounds a bit like a C90 tape being mangled and features Vini Reilly's laziest vocal for sometime. The last bonus track `Everybody's Laughing (I Don't Care)' is not too bad at all, but is a filler for sure.

The album as a whole is excellent which some great tracks on there. `In Memory of Anthony' is a heartfelt ode to Vini's good friend and mentor, the late Tony Wilson, `Rant', `Loser' and `I'm Alive' are more traditional style Durutti tunes with drummer Bruce Mitchell in full effect. Which leads on neatly to the albums highlight, an instrumental piece entitled `For Bruce' with beautiful guitar playing and a very effective sample from an unknown source. Another highlight is `Lock Down' featuring a sample from the reggae dancehall artist Movado, which might seem a strange choice of sample for the Durutti Column, but it isn't the fist time they have used reggae as a source of sample. Other tracks are guitar and piano piece accompanied by Poppy Morgan, Reilly's current girlfriend, on piano. The results are varied. `Wild Beast Tamed' is an instrumental masterpiece whilst the aforementioned `Painting' and `My Poppy' have their merits but would have been more enjoyable to me as instrumentals. I have nothing against Vini's vocals, especially on tracks like `Gun' and `Big Hole' from the album 2006 `Keep Breathing', for example, but the vocals here just don't stand up.

Was it worth the money and the effort? Yes, but for the life of me I don't know why.

For samples (of the UK release) click here.

Full track list:

1. In Memory of Anthony
2. Rant
3. More Rainbows
4. I'm Alive
5. For Bruce
6. Painting
7. Wild Beast Tamed
8. Rainbow Maker
9. My Poppy
10. Loser
11. Lock-Down
12. The Secret Between The Blade And Me
13. Duet For Piano And Guitar
14. Everybody's Laughing (I Don't Care)

Here is a clip of The Durutti Column on BBC2's Culture Show, featuring an interview with the band and footage of one of their recent "Paean To Tony Wilson" shows in Manchester.

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