This is not really an album of music but of poetry with a musical accompaniment. Now that is not a particularly new approach as the Bluesbunny remembers something similar being done by Jackie Leven & Ian Rankin with the album "Jackie Leven Said" on the Cooking Vinyl label. Right, we hear you say, so why did the Bluesbunny like it so much (and there goes the surprise ending to this review…)?
Aye, there's the rub. You think that your life - or at least your life experiences anyway - are your own. Then you find out that someone has been looking over your shoulder all the time and you hope to God that your mother never finds out. You hope there are enough Hail Marys in the world to make up for the drunken, misdirected adventure that was your youth. So, in this package you get a few printed pages to set the scene. Then the talking book starts to take us through the rest of the story. Oddly enough there is even a poem about racism in the middle. Maybe it is there as compensation for his debauchery, an apology for his own lack of moral fibre but it sits awkwardly but then again it was probably meant to. Sex is everywhere along with a frank (if there is such a thing in these days of reality television) admission of guilt even if remorse seems inappropriate when not one of the characters in the story seems particularly concerned about what happened.
Aidan Moffat does not wallow in debauchery like, say, Irvine Welsh, but he manages to convey the emptiness of events that once had meaning. That could well be the point with this album being the result of some mid-life crisis invoking a need for catharsis or perhaps even redemption. As a work of fiction (or semi autobiographical fiction at least), this album certainly works as you will listen all the way through and even get to care about the main character. Bluesbunny is not going to go into the actual story for that would spoil it for you and we would recommend that you buy a copy for yourself. The listening instructions are included - "in bed, with headphones, preferably with a hangover". We tested it according to the manufacturer's instructions.
There is the text on the enhanced CD and an odd story - anecdotal, as Bluesbunny had heard it before from a taxi driver several years ago - about how an innocent man can get on the Sex Offenders list.
"I can hear your heart…". Indeed we can.