Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Record Review: Lord Cut-Glass - Lord Cut-Glass

For Atlanta Music Guide:

Lord Cut-Glass
Lord Cut-Glass

Chemikal Underground

Ex-Delgado Alun Woodward’s lilting Scottish accent wraps itself around the haunting, intricate instrumental arrangements in his songs. His debut LP under the moniker Lord Cut-Glass — named for a character in the radio play Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas — turns seamlessly from folk to waltz to military march to a ditty about being the “product of the modern man.” Each song is a fleshed-out stand-alone composition, a full story and an entire piece of music in its own right. Listening to Lord Cut-Glass as an album feels like being at the theater; one can almost feel the velvet of the curtains and the see the glow of the stage lights.

Maybe it’s because most of the phrasing seems directly derivative of theatrical song composition in the best way. Woodward plays with tempo and volume in a manner that creates interest and tension, helped in his efforts by drummer Paul Savage (also formerly of The Delgados), as well as a large collection of Glasgow classical musicians. Together, they man a toy piano, a full horn section, an accordion and slews of sweeping strings; they supply choral backup singing to supplement Woodward’s fast-picked acoustic guitar and produce his bizarre mental collages.

Lyrically, Woodward brings intimidating smarts and a charming sense of humor to his songwriting. Take, for example, the fact that the quietest song on the album — a sweetly sung minimalist acoustic duet — is called “Holy Fuck!” and asserts that “glimpsing reflections of the past… feels like licking rats.” Through lines like these, Woodward displays his ability with striking descriptiveness. “I believe that you and me will never be/A Fred-and-Ginger matinee romance,” he croons. “Holy Fuck!” and every song on the album, really, beautifully meshes undeniable truth with darkly comic wit and weird analogy...[Read more]

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