Whisperin & Hollerin
  © www.feeldesign.co.uk 2002 - 2004
Home | Incoming | Reviews | Positive Noise | Face In the Crowd | Rock Hunter | Find And Rewind | Popcorn Double Feature | Chat | Playlists | Links | Forum | Contact | Register | Login | Logout | Members |
  OR   Search for Artist/Title    Advanced Search Link
  you are not logged in...  
Reviewing: Byzantium / Paris in Autumn

REININGER, BLAINE L. - Byzantium / Paris in Autumn

advertisements below are unrelated to this review


All Reviews    Back    Edit This Review     
'Byzantium / Paris in Autumn'   

-  Label: 'LTM'
-  Genre: 'Eighties' -  Release Date: 'May 2004'-  Catalogue No: 'LTMCD2585'

Our Rating:
OK, Collectors: this is the original Disques du Crepuscule album of the same name (1987) plus all tracks from the "Paris en Automne" mini album, a stray and exotic 12" vinyl release "Bizmallah", a remix of "Rolf & Florian Go Hawaiian" and a raw but well-turned demo version of "Radio Ectoplasm".

OK, Average Punter: this is where the New Romantic sound might have got to by about 1985. BLAINE L.REININGER had left (the recently reformed) TUXEDOMOON and was pursuing a solo career in Brussels and other places, with trademark panache and citric violin playing. Various hellhounds were also on his trail.

As a reviewer from the average punter side of things, I first off have to say that the general formula of articulate, semi-spoken but well-pitched vocals, with alienated digital percussion and wilfully strange synth sounds worked very well indeed, and had reached a high point by 1985. "European" is a word you might slap onto it. Carnival stilt walkers in Paris, rain-shined cobbled squares in Vienna, long leather coats in Leipzig … yeh, all that. And good tunes. The marvellous "Teenage Theatre" is exemplary in all these respects. Had a contemporary signing launched something of this quality last week, the Guardian would have already had it on their free CD offering, and queues would be round the block for the new sensation (the coolest band in the world, or some such bollocks).

Pop music had shifted it's dreams elsewhere by the second half of the eighties, but good music was still emerging from the devotees of the clipped moustache, the expensive suit and the faraway eyes.

Good though it is, this 70 minutes of studio recordings does not pack the aural thrill of REININGER'S live album from the same era or excite the blood like TUXEDOMOON'S brand new "Cabin the Sky". Nevertheless, Reininger's artistry still outstrips its temporary genre by a long way. Maybe not in every case, and sometimes he seems weary and the technological solutions have too well-worn a sound. As evidence, just listen to REININGER'S worst-ever version of LEONARD COHEN'S "Bird on a Wire". COHEN sets up fabulous opportunities for original covers, but this manages to takes the life out of the tempo and the poignancy out of the tune while killing the lyric stone dead.

But it doesn’t define the album. For the best of it go back to "Teenage Theatre" and marvel. Even the basic "trumpet" setting on the synth (a Yamaha DX7?) sounds fresh and exciting. It’s spiky and sophisticated and poppy all at the same time. I also love the doubled up twelve string guitars on "Some Fine Day" - another little pop gem, with an endearingly weird balance of guitar and voice that moves a long way from the MIDGE URE/DURAN DURAN axis. "Too Cool To Die" is an up-tempo classic whose narcissistic exuberance transcends all genres – as all the best music does. This track alone makes the reissue worth the investment

In the archaeological landfill site that is post-1956 popular music, this is a rich but minor treasure. Hats off to the good people at LTM who toil on the restoration work and who stick with the quality they love. Their website is very good: www.ltmpub.freeserve.co.uk.

If you're not too sure: listen to REININGER'S glorious violin on "La Più Bella Reprise" from the new album, then go back and snuffle with intoxicated glee in the roots that we have here.
  author: Sam Saunders

[Show all reviews for this Artist]

READERS COMMENTS    10 comments still available (max 10)    [Click here to add your own comments]

There are currently no comments...

Home | Incoming | Reviews | Positive Noise | Face In the Crowd | Rock Hunter | Find And Rewind | Popcorn Double Feature | Chat | Playlists | Links | Forum | Contact | Register | Login | Logout | Members |
Unsubscribe |
© www.feeldesign.co.uk 2002 - 2004
terms & conditions