martedì 22 settembre 2009

The Auteurs "New Wave"

Riappropriamoci della musica intelligente e dell'Inghilterra, ecco cosa grida Luke Haines, ecco i suoi intenti che vanno tutti a buon fine in questo magnifico esordio. Basta chitarrone grunge, basta vestiti squallidi, basta camicioni patetici, basta capelli unti. Guitar pop di matrice britannica con testi incisivi, corrosivi e intelligenti. Luke Haines è un genio, prendere o lasciare. Qui c'è talento puro. Beh...solo 1 come lui poteva intitolare un disco così. Sfacciato e presuntuoso se volete, come è sempre stato in tutta la sua carriera, che qui mostrava già i primi segni di splendore! (1993 Hut)

Three bands released albums, 14th February 1993. One was Radiohead, one was Saint Etienne and one was The Auteurs. Of those three names, you may only know one - and that's Radiohead. But who released the better of the three? You're looking right at it. Still not the best album released in 1993, mind you. That honour falls to The Boo Radleys amazingly kaleidoscopic classic 'Giant Steps'. By now, those of you rooted in classic rock and unfamiliar with UK indie music of the eighties and nineties are probably scratching their heads and moving onto another web-site to read something else! But, persevere. Just because something is ( relatively ) new, doesn't mean it's bad! This works vice-versa. There are many music fans who hold anything released more than five years ago as being irrelevant. Still, none of this matters, I suppose. I'm just a guy who gets interested in such things, forgive me. Let's move forwards, shall we? Okay, then! The Auteurs 'New Wave'? Nothing New Wave in the musical sense about it, but a breath of fresh air circa 1993, anyway. Music that is elegant, somehow. Music with poetic lyrics that remind you of Ray Davies of The Kinks a little. An album seemingly obsessed with stardom, but from an outsiders point of view. The opening 'Show Girl' was the top 41 (?!?) hit single that launched The Auteurs. Luke Haines is the leading creative force, singing, playing the guitar and writing the songs. He's backed up by a drummer and a bass player. Occasionally a cello player too, most attractively. Anyways, 'Showgirl' is a story, evocative - the vocals are double-tracked through the verses as Luke seems to sing harmony with himself. It's a great, rich, glorious sound. From a showgirl to mentions of stardom failing in 'Bailed Out' through to a dig at the US grunge scene with 'American Guitars', which ironically, features plenty of guitars. More so than other songs here, but of course that was the point.
The sense that 'New Wave' is a wonderfully constructed album comes through in the clarity, richness yet simplicity of many of the musical backings but also in the fact the songs move well into each other. Each one of the first three songs are different to each other in tempo and musical feel, yet all share the same musical feel, if that makes sense? It's something many of the best albums manage to do. Not sounding like a dozen different bands, but not sounding like you've taken one song and repeated it twelve times either. So, we're somewhere in-between and 'Junk Shop Clothes' is so lovely yet with a helping of humour, too. 'Genius' is a word you may care to throw around. The opening 'Show Girl' had been an instant classic. 'Junk Shop Clothes' and 'Bailed Out' aren't too far behind. We've more mentions of stars in the uptempo, melodic and guitar led 'Don't Trust The Stars', which is followed, of course, by 'Starstruck'. Don't you see a theme developing here? 'Starstruck' is a beauty of a ballad in any case.
Thinking back to The Sixties for a second. Was Luke Haines thinking back? Perhaps he was taken by certain things. Albums used to be constructed with a hit single to open and another hit single somewhere around the middle, usually to open the second side of the ( then ) vinyl album. And so it is with 'New Wave', second single 'How Could I Be Wrong' is akin to 'Showgirl' but with a different lyrical feel and a different, more biting guitar sound. The same, yet not the same. 'House Breaker' launches straight into such a fabulous melody and such wonderful lyrics that grinning is a distinct possibility. Opening lyric? "When I first met you / You were not housetrained", and so it goes on. A nice, spine tingling musical touch and attention to detail is the harmonica that arrives through the instrumental break. Similar attention to detail turns 'Valet Parking' into something that brings me to tears, tears of absolute joy. Glockenspiel? Well yeah, but it's used so sparingly. The entire album sounds wonderfully fresh, even ten years after it was first released. Timeless, I suppose. The closing three songs are good too, yet merely repeating what's gone before. Well, the closing 'Home Again' starts all strummed acoustic then eventually launches into Luke singing over himself - the cello appears. It's just so fucking beautiful, you know? (

With their 1993 debut album, New Wave, the Auteurs established themselves as one of England's best guitar bands of the early '90s. Driven by the bittersweet, ironic songwriting of Luke Haines, the band's carefully crafted, three-minute pop songs are in the vein of the Kinks, the Smiths and the Beatles, particularly the songs of George Harrison. Yet the band never sounds like imitators -- they combine their influences into a signature sound, distinguished by Haines' sharp lyrics and sighing melodies. (Stephen Thomas Erlewine - All Music Guide)

- Show Girl
- Bailed Out
- American Guitars
- Junk Shop Clothes
- Don't Trust The Stars
- Starstruck
- How Could I Be Wrong
- Housebreaker
- Valet Parking
- Idiot Brother
- Early Years
- Home Again


2 commenti:

  1. Grandissimo disco, un classico di culto del pop inglese di ogni tempo. Grazie per averlo riproposto.

  2. a great album - a classic album of that ear. tahnk you very much for the presentation.

    may your days be sunny : Herr Ärmel