giovedì 24 settembre 2009

Luke Haines "Das Capital (The Songwriting Genius Of Luke Haines And The Auteurs)"

Si celebra e ne ha ogni diritto il buon Luke Haines in questa raccolta dove vengono rivisitati alcuni classici della sua produzione. A questo punto non ci resta che leggere la sua autobiografia e poi sarà il momento di proclamarlo santo! (2003 Hut)

For those unacquainted with the work Luke Haines and The Auteurs, newcomers could be forgiven for forming the opinion that 'Das Capital' is the work of a conceited and immodest egotist. Especially given the LP's subtitle "The song writing genius of...." and the accompanying, self-penned sleeve notes in which Haines reviews his back catalogue, repeatedly using the word “masterpiece" and awarding himself five out of five stars. Those more familiar with Haines' caustic sense of humour will take this with a large pinch of salt.
Bombast aside, over the past ten years Haines' song-writing has matured into one of the greatest unsung talents England's tired shores have seen. And, while it was Blur who received all the plaudits back in 1994 for their rather clichéd and nostalgic take on Englishness on 'Parklife', it was Haines and the Auteurs who, two years earlier in 1992, took a snapshot of the darker underbelly of English society, singing about house breaking and junk shop clothes.
As a song writer Haines has never been too concerned with the mainstream, instead happy to snipe from the wings and tackle subjects most artists would flinch at the very though of. Take, for example, 1995's 'Baader Meinhof' LP - a concept album dedicated entirely to the former German terrorist group. Commercial suicide perhaps, but, like most of Haines' scores, utterly compulsive listening. And hence to the irony of a 'greatest hits' package. This is no orthodox hits album, however. Disconcerted by the lack of continuity that would have resulted by throwing together songs recorded over a ten year period, Haines has set about re-recording them with the aid of a seven piece string section, with the inclusion of three new songs for good measure.
The result is quite stunning, from the self assurance of the opening track 'How Could I be Wrong' from debut long player 'New Wave' through to 'Future Generation' from 1999's last official Auteurs album 'How I Learned to Love the Boot Boys'. The orchestral treatment sits easily with Haines' selections which, albeit briefly, spans all of his career to date, with the exception of 2001’s solo outings two - 'The Oliver Twist Manifesto' and 'Christie Malry's own Double Entry' soundtrack.
The vital 'Lenny Valentino' particularly benefits from the addition of strings as it rises and swirls, while 'Satan Wants me' is the pick of the three new songs. Only on 'The Mitford Sisters' does Haines' sense of Englishness appear to be trying just that little bit too hard, cross-referencing Oswald Mosely, the Home service and Sir Walter Raleigh in quick succession. 'Bugger Bognor', an obscure reference to the last words of King George V on his death bed, gets things back on track again pretty swiftly. Fittingly 'Future Generation', the closing track of the last Auteurs' album, also finishes things off here with Haines singing "this music is for a future generation, this music could destroy a generation". Only time will tell. (Denzil Watson -

- Intro
- How Could I Be Wrong
- Showgirl
- Baader Meinhof
- Lenny Valentino
- Starstruck
- Satan Wants Me
- Unsolved Child Murder
- Junk Shop Clothes
- Michael Powell
- Bugger Bognor
- Future Generation


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