06 May 2007

Got To Be Good Looking, Cause He's So Hard To See.

Rich seems like an odd choice of adjective to describe an album that is pretty much just one issue laden young man and his acoustic guitar. And yet, whenever I think of Loudon Wainwright's (father of those other two Wainwrights) sophomore album, Album II, rich is the first word that comes to mind.

I suspect this richness is a result of his voice. There is something so incredibly earthy, so passionate, so god damned sexy about his voice, it adds a certain kind of texture to the songs here that other bands bend over backwards trying to achieve with multiple instruments, but never really come close to it.

This album is like a hot, gravy smothered roast on the coldest day of winter. And just as a sunday roast brings with it images of home and family, so too do the songs of Album II. Loudon sings of his new wife, of his new son (what's his name? Rufus or something, I think...), of growing older, and of old friends.

Which, maybe, sounds a little boring? Loudon's voice and distinctly different melodies should be enough to ensure that this album is anything but. But just in case, he also sings of cheating on his wife with pretty young things whilst on tour, of all the different ways in which he could kill himself, and of how, if he's being really honest, he's not sure he really loves his kid just yet.

Some may say that Loudon's later work is superior to his first albums. But for me, nothing comes even close to Album II.

Motel Blues
(chronologically I know you're young
but when you kissed me in the club you bit my tongue
I'll write a song for you, I'll put it on my next L.P
Come up to my motelroom, sleep with me)

Be Careful There's A Baby In The House
(and a baby will not be fooled
it's a thing brand new
does what it wants to)


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