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28 April 2009

American Analog Set - 'The Golden Band' (Emperor Jones)

Source: Bought at Paul's, new, when it came out.

You'll find lots of love for the American Analog Set at Dislocated Underbite Spinal Alphabetised Encourager Templates - without apology, without shame, these are records we keep going back to: pop music of the highest class. And this may be their finest statement, a midpoint of their career, shifting from shut-in navel-pickers to the more lyric-oriented later records. Lyrically we're dealing with cities, cultures, and a context long-gone from my life but I still connect with the moody buzzing keyboards and basslines of the 'New Drifters' suite or the subtle but essential handclaps in 'The Wait'. After a million listens these songs still sound like the familiar new. 'The Golden Band' is heavy breathing and household appliances; 'A Good Friend is Always Around' equals fallen leaves crunching underfoot. It ends with 'Will the Real Danny Radnor Please Stand?', which steps along with a maudlin elegance, perhaps the eulogy for my own adolescence. A treasure.

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