The Hip and the Homelessness is a superb blend of a heart-rending story and a great tune getting on just fine.
BC Camplight – Blink of a Nihilist
A man apart, Brian Christinzio...
Just like with his last release, Hide, Run Away, there are plenty of mainstream pop moments on Blink of a Nihilist. Despite there being plenty of eclectic and slightly off kilter arrangements (we get salsa and 60s pop in the same song, Soy Tonto!) the roots are definitely in the 1970s MOR upbeat pop of Chicago or Boston. Suffer for Two and Lord I've Been on Fire are cases in point.
However nothing is quite as straightforward for this reviewer as conceptualising this record as "left-field pop" misses some of the album's most important aspects. On Blink of a Nihilist, Christinzio avows that he wants to create something that makes people change the way they feel, not the way they dress; an admirable sentiment indeed. Sometimes the sentiments and the uplifting pop structures are brought into conflict with unbearably painful subjects; loneliness, illness, homelessness. The Hip and the Homelessness is a superb blend of a heart-rending story and a great tune getting on just fine.
In fact forget Boston, think Brian Wilson and Van Dyck Parks.
Sometimes it's an incredibly dreamy record; akin to a film score for a kid's movie (check out Werewolf Waltz and The 22 Skidoo). Sometimes the song arrangements make it pretty surreal (Officer Down and Grey Young Amelia). Still, it's an intriguing listen and very highly recommended.
Words: Richard Foster