BAXTER DURY LEN PARROT'S MEMORIAL LIFT
ROUGH TRADE RECORDS
You gotta hand it to a guy who jacks the chorus of the Velvet Underground's "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'" on his debut album, works it into his own material, and ends up with an even more gorgeous sedative of a song. That tune, "Oscar Browne," is from Baxter Dury, son of Ian of British punks the Blockheads. Even though it's Baxter's name on the cover, much of the credit for this record's soft dreaminess should go to his accomplished backers, namely Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley of Portishead fame and, most distinctly, Johanna Hussey, whose plaintive woos practically drain the tears from your eyes. Baxter himself sings in a falsetto that aides in making some songs sound kind of like Blur when they're cruising in low gear. On the title track, a story-like narrative reminiscing about his father's years as a bus driver, Dury sounds like a wry John Lennon, snapping into a chorus suggestive of "A Day In the Life." Dury also does some crafty keyboard and organ work, which gives many songs a vibe in the vein of the band Air, but given his hired guns, the record naturally gels into a smooth morphine drip, filled with all the spacier qualities of British psychedelia.
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