13 September 2005

big star - "lady sweet" (from the in space lp, available for pre-order here.)

in brief : it's new big star.

more than i usually would, i'd urge you to buy this album if you like it. alex chilton, some of you may have heard, lost his home and is now in houston.

in articles about katrina, alex is often referred to as the singer for the box tops, which is perhaps emblematic of his career. what, one might ask, is a big star song? is it the sum of its formal properties? (what, then, is a box tops song? and an alex chilton song?) is alex writing from the heart? or has he put together a set that's to the indie oldies circuit as singing "the letter" is to the mainstream circuit?

another question: what is a posies song? (jon auer and ken stringfellow join alex and jody.) one would normally think that members of a band would hold out on their "side projects"? but what if that side project is the very reason you got into music?

i really can't answer any of these questions, though i think they're interesting to think about. how about a question you're certain to have: what does it sound like? like #1 record, mostly. alex and jody, i think, are more about songcraft at this point than pushing boundaries; and nothing against the posies, but i don't think they've got it in them to help create record city, let alone sister lovers.

last question: is it any good? if i couldn't answer the others, this one i don't want to answer. the album is unspeakable in parts ("love revolution," "do you wanna make it"--you could probably tell by the titles), but alex chilton, perhaps more than any other artist i can think of, and now especially, deserves the right to cash in, if such a thing as possible.

the track i've selected, "lady sweet," in my opinion, rises above the rest of the songs on the album, so much so that you wonder if this was an outtake from an earlier album. the sound is perfect, especially the sighing backing vocals. on this one track at least, i think you'll agree that chris bell, from (one hopes) his privileged place in the cosmos, would be proud.

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