"The LP consists of a series of short vignettes chronicling the nefarious actions of a Scottish twentysomething, shagging his way round a circle of predatory females and muttering excuses about his dirty John Thomas to his girlfriend..."
I Can Hear Your Heart – Aidan John Moffat
Mr Moffat, as I am sure you are aware, was one half of the creative force behind Arab Strap. To say Arab Strap were acerbic, caustic and morose would be under-egging the pudding somewhat. Despite this we’ve always had a soft spot for them, and the release of Moffatt’s first solo effort was eagerly pounced upon.
As a listen, it’s broadly what you’d expect, albeit more literary than Strap’s stuff. The LP consists of a series of short vignettes chronicling the nefarious actions of a Scottish twentysomething, shagging his way round a circle of predatory females and muttering excuses about his dirty John Thomas to his girlfriend. The musical backdrop could be best described as incidental. In many ways it sounds like an experimental radio play. Most tracks are around the minute mark, only the last, Hilary and Back (which clocks in at a whopping 10 minutes) has any real length.
It’s easy to let all this wash over you in a blurry grumble. And with that in mind I think it is fair to ask whether Moffat’s message works in this format. Well, it does in a way. It holds together pretty well if you pay attention. That’s the rub. And if you do pay attention, it certainly packs an emotional punch, despite it being a never-ending chronicle of the amoral and the blindly acquisitive. Some of it is genuinely funny (Nothing in Common and the 4sex messages, which punctuate the narratives brilliantly) some of it plays on pathos (Good Morning, International Valentine) and it’s virtually all about shagging at some level. Exceptions are the covers of Dorothy Parker’s A Very Short Song, the Boss’s Hungry Heart and the acerbic poem All the Love You Need.
Enjoyable stuff, but don’t play it in front of your Maiden Aunt.
Words: Richard Foster