.

The Best Musical Discoveries of 2011

The older albums our critics listened to this year
Previous Next
flying doesn't help
Quango(1978)/Voiceprint(1994)

blog comments powered by Disqus

A. More, 'Flying Doesn't Help'

I'm a casual fan of Slapp Happy, the loopy Kraut-pop band British experimental musician Anthony Moore co-founded in the early 1970s. But I'd never heard this 1978 solo record until a friend sent it to me this spring. I've been playing it constantly since. Moore works a nexus between Brian Eno at his gizmo-twisting blissiest, John Cale's mordant Victorian whimsy, the demented glam-bubblegum of Sparks, post-Genesis Peter Gabriel and Berlin-era Bowie. "Judy Get Down" is the perfect-world Top 40 smash, a hand-clapping, noise-spritzed ode to a hooker somewhere between the Dixie Cups' "Iko Iko" and Eno's "I'll Come Running." And the rest is bursting with playful ideas and left-field hooks too: from the dawn-over-the-moors balladry of "Lucia" to androids-at-happy-hour rockers like "Useless Moments" and "Girl It's Your Time" to the album-closing ambient ice-bath "Twilight (Uxbridge Rd.)." Moore's singing makes Bowie sound like Sam Cooke, but even that kind of adds to the record's alien charm. In England in the Seventies, every art-rock weirdo, no matter how out there, seemed to have one great oddball pop record in him. Well, this is this dude's, and it’s awesome. 

Jon Dolan

 

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

www.expandtheroom.com