Monday, March 27, 2006

Richard Butler Upclose and Personal

Rare are the artists that manage to produce consistently good work. Some take risks and change directions like underwear, leaving strangely beautiful jewels as well as utter crap along the way. Others cling on to their schtick and rerepeat all they've ever done, shining once in a while. But most of them try to put records out, all of the time. Not Richard Butler. While he reformed the Psychedelic Furs in 2000, he kept that act as a showcase of their olden hits, including just one new - and brilliant - song. In the meantime, he worked on his first ever solo record, a frightengly upclose encounter with the man behind the spitting cynicism we know from the Furs or Love Spit Love. "Some cool electronical old fashioned songs" he sings in "Second to Second", a beautifully crafted pop piece with vocals that must make David Bowie as well as Damon Albarn jealous.
Live at the Canal Room in NYC, it was a weird experience to see that great stage performer being bound to a bar stool, occassionally glancing at lyric sheets. Not just for us - for Richard, too: Theres no rock band behind him, just two guys with guitars and computers. Unfortunately, those guitars didnt sound too good sometimes and made for a few rather trashy campfire versions of some old Furs stuff like Heaven or Love My Way, just a bit of over anxious to please, maybe. They could have relaxed, Butler has all the credits. But go get the record, you'll spend days, maybe years with these songs. You can get it here:

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