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Best known for his controversial Turner Prize-winning installation 'Work No. 227: The lights going on and off', there's a lot more to multimedia artist Martin Creed than a light switching on and off. Here's his latest album of music, which features a selection of his charming minimal pop ditties and three of his numbered works - orchestral compositions on this occasion.
His song work is very charming. Each song is based around a simple bit of wordplay, using repetition and call-and-response and weird lolloping staccato rhythms, kind of a mixture of Laurie Anderson's brutal lyrical minimalism and Deerhoof's quirk-pop exuberance, along with a sly sense of humour that reminds me of David Shrigley's dabblings in the music world. It's punchy and catchy and thought-provoking, as he probes the human condition with a childlike curiosity.
The second side contains the orchestral works, opening with the album's title track which kind of bridges the two sections in charming and catchy fashion - for my money one of the most affecting of the vocal pieces here. The three works which follow are dryer and less humorous but still make use of the same techniques of simplicity, repetition, call-and-response and passing melodies around between different parts of the orchestra. They're not as naive sounding as I'd anticipated from his song works and actually often quite dramatic and stirring.
The way the album is structured means the two sides are wildly different and you almost feel like you're listening to two separate records. Overall, though, it's likeable and human and unusual and I'd listen to it again.
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