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Ah, Peter Broderick. Instead of actually getting on with a proper album that might elevate him to the stratospheric class of the neoclassical-tinged folk musician he continues his idiosyncratic path of releasing vaguely ‘concept’ albums. On this one he sings/reads his innermost thoughts over some wandering instrumentation.
Track two ‘Freyr’ is a perfect example of what I dislike about Peter Broderick. Over some jaunty folk he reads out an email from his dad about his cat who ran away. I feel terrible for his dad, I had a cat go missing for 24 hours the other month and I was past myself with worry, but seriously who cares? It’s just mild narcissism bordering on total self obsession.
Better is ‘I’ve Tried’ which sounds very much like an Arthur Russell outtake complete with staccato violins and soulful vocals. The Arthur Russell comparison follows on into the next track ‘Proposed Solution To The Mystery Of The Soul’, an impressive if slightly overlong mostly a cappella soulful outing for Broderick’s increasingly bold voice. ‘When I Blank I Blank’ is a meandering, piece of electro-funk over which Broderick reads out words sent to him by his sycophants who have filled in the blanks in the sentence “When I _____ I_________”. Alas my contribution of “When I listen to Peter Broderick’s Music I Start To Lose My Temper” wasn’t included.
The title track’s sixth form poetry reading alone is justification for this statement. I am in absolutely no doubt that Peter Broderick is a talent, there are some delightful music passages within this album. I also fully embrace the notion that the best artists are the ones who take risks. What I don’t like is the enclosed self-congratulatory navel gazing world in which he exists. On the beautiful ‘I Do’ which musically sounds like some gorgeous Jose Gonzales outtake, he reads out emails sent to him from his own fans. The best way to approach this album is probably to throw away the CD booklet, ignore his pretentious self serving twaddle and just attempt to listen to the music on its own terms.
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