And all this high minded rejection of the Debordian spectacle is set over the most delightful, mellifluous electropop sound you could imagine.
Now this is a remarkable record in its way, funny, brilliantly executed and extremely accessible. Not to mention hard hitting. Fleischmann’s previous releases always had something a bit academic about them, sometimes a bit too quirky for their own good. On I’m Not Ready For The Grave Yet, he seems to sod all that and go for the jugular.
Don’t Follow is a wry but pretty direct sermon on life an’ that: try these observations out for size, bedroom aesthetes…. “if you want to fuck the system / get out of its bed” or “if you think life’s a puzzle / don’t look at the frame” And all this high minded rejection of the Debordian spectacle is set over the most delightful, mellifluous electropop sound you could imagine. This carries on in Tomorrow; “tomorrow sounds great”… yeah right… and the fabulous Who Emptied The River, which must be a metaphor for some kind of social or personal issue. Once more the music for all these tracks sits snugly in its setting: a miniaturist’s delight, delicate and measured, (even when we get the guitar pouncing on us in Who Emptied the River), perfectly pitched and allowing for a sort of armchair-bound toe tapping… It’s an essentially personal listen, the sort of LP that would be grand for your commute or morning stroll. The instrumentals are great too; Lemminge and This Bar being the sort of off kilter essays in sound that you need an instrumental to be, really.
Elsewhere, Beat Us and I Am Not Ready For The Grave Yet, use samples of RP speaking BBC types that sound both funny and incredibly world weary. Quite what goes on in these tracks is a bit perplexing: the message behind last line in Beat Us, for example; “it was then we heard a shot” will, I’m sure, reveal itself over time. The title track is a tour de force, cheeky, brilliantly set up in terms of message and music. Fleischmann sounds so cynical here, it’s almost inspiring. The RP voice reappears on the quizzical Some / Others / My Husband…. they used to do ironical things like this back in the 90s, you know…
The best two tracks are saved till last; the beautiful At Night The Fox Comes is a strange lament with Mr F telling a tale about a nocturnal visit from some kind of Fox – a hint at some sort of atavism we wonder? The last track, the simple sermon Your Bible is Printed on Dollars is a pretty direct message set over the sort of tune that used to be used on Sesame Street to teach kids how to count. Fleischmann sort of parodies Holger Czukay’s Cool In the Pool, (to this fervent imagination anyway, it’s just the way he breathes/sings “it’s gonna be hot”) and Bono, Sting and the Weathergirls get a kicking for good measure. A great listen.