Baxter Dury will be releasing his new album 'It's a Pleasure' on October 20th through PIAS. The album was produced by Baxter, Dan Carey (Franz Ferdinand, Tame Impala & Bat For Lashes) and mixed by Craig Silver (Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire & The Horrors).A few words from Baxter Dury about the album:'This album was hard work to make but now I like it lots. Male inadequacy is a hard subject to repackage in the form of skeletal Berliner music but here I've proved that's possible. Making this album I worked in New York, Brussels, Paris but you can't hear a trace of any of them, only the faint cries of Chiswick. It could be the soundtrack to a film about a doomed submarine.'
You could also say this - it sounds an awful lot like Jona Lewie.
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Baxter Dury (or his handlers) certainly knew his strengths when compiling this album. It starts in excellent style with four really strong tracks but tails off significantly as the album wears on.
Dury sounds pretty much exactly like his dad vocally and at its best the album showcases a smart lo-fi style with archaic drum machine and one finger prodded synths. Opener ‘It’s a Pleasure’ is one of those tunes that is instantly enjoyable, coming in somewhere between the Magnetic Fields and Trio it's stripped back style works perfectly. One of the most effective aspects to the album is the female backing vocals which provide a sweetness to counteract the gruff near spoken word delivery of Dury. ‘Palm Trees’ is probably the best example of this and the effect is akin to vintage Jona Lewie stuff like ‘In the Kitchen at Parties’. Even better is ‘Other Men’s Girls’, the girl vocals are gorgeous and the track works in a very similar way to a lot of the stuff on the recent Metronomy album. This rinky dink Bontempi production is simple but effective and the call and response vocals blend nicely. Dury almost appears to be a guest on his own album at times as his spoken word verse takes up only a small percentage of the track. It's a clever idea providing contrast and space, the spaces between the words being just as important as the words themselves.
The only issue with it is that Dury just can’t keep it going throughout the entire album and even though its an enjoyable laid back listen, nothing lives up to the opening few tracks. Simple catchy stuff with stripped back production and very good while it lasts.
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