Thursday, March 29, 2012

Suburbs - credit in heaven (1981)

The Suburbs had already displayed a deep knowledge of the history of Rock & Roll, wild technical skills, as well as a desire to experiment in their debut In Combo. However in Credit In Heaven they broadened the palette further by incorporating these elements in a civic mural, thus moving from the snapshot of an era to a panorama of an expanded timeline.

It starts with the restless Talking Heads-ian Dance-Punk "Tired Of My Plans" (albeit with more urban flavors) while "Faith" adds an evocative Rhythm & Blues tinge, and "Tape Your Wife To The Ceiling" a neurotic (but humorous) Boogie Rock quality. The same sound is simultaneously more epic and deranged in "Macho Drunk", while "Ghoul Of Goodwill" shows further refinements, whereas their nerdy robotic Funk is accentuated by an airy feel and a light Ska touch.

Similarly, "Dish It Up" starts discordant and jerky, but ends emotional and breezy. "Mommy" is another oxymoron, robotic and calculated on one hand, feverish R&B on the other. The urban Lounge-Rock "Cigarette In Backwards" however painted a different picture, that of a tired metropolis. "Girl Ache" verified the new ambitious plot: by now the listener seemed to be getting past the hung-up dance, and instead was losing himself in a megalopolis vertigo.

"Drinking With An Angel" confirmed the impression with another expressionist post-modern dance, carefully constructed to imply a warm sense of nostalgia. The urban-rock waft of "Spring Came" also elapsed this passage from the ephemeral to the timeless, from the modern to the classic. It is a landscape into which the bittersweet piano ballad - with a masterful epic coda - "Girlfriend" fits perfectly, while brainy excursions into calculated and catchy funk like "Postcard" also traverse a route that reaches from the classic Folk Dance, to the Progressive Rock of the 70's, and the dispassionate Post-Punk, to form an existential future that's yet to come (the "mathematical" Post-Rock).

It is the same for "Music For Boys", a superb framework which breezes through in a catchy way and remembers the past in a soulful manner. In the meantime, "Idiot Voodoo" returns to an R&B apotheosis, and "Pipsqueak Millionaire" presents another three dimensional postcard taken with extraordinary precision, another intellectual attack mixed with the colors of a dazzling theatrical show. However, "Credit In Heaven" ends the album with a feel of dislocation and ongoing sense of adventure rather than settling for repose.

A wonderful record that is still being left undiscovered. Get it here.

1 comment:

L said...

Thank you for you blog, that I follow for some time.

And from the Atlantic islands of Azores, I'd like to show my musical project The Joy of Nature: