Wednesday, January 25, 2006

album review: RICHARD BUTLER "Richard Butler"

Richard Butler – “Richard Butler” (Koch)

In this age of seemingly thousands of crappy “punk” bands with singers who all sound exactly the same, there are precious few vocalists of any rock genre who are instantly recognizable. Fewer still are those singers who can be counted on to not foist junk on the music-buying public. Falling squarely in both categories is Richard Butler.

With a career spanning seven studio albums with the Psychedelic Furs and another pair with Love Spit Love, Butler’s amassed a formidable portfolio of quality music that always seemed one step ahead of trend. Remarkably, twenty-six years after the release of the first Furs album, his new self-titled solo album proves that he’s still ahead of the curve.

Lyrically, this album is chock full of the unique observational and philosophical imagery that we’ve come to expect from Butler, but musically the record is an interesting departure for him. His collaborator, Jon Carin, best known for working with Bryan Ferry, Pink Floyd, and The Who among many others, creates a dreamy and mysterious soundscape for Butler to nestle his poetry into. The lyrics on this record seem to be less angry and more introspective and personal than the usual Butler fare, and when coupled with the swirling shimmer of Carin’s guitars and keys, create an album both compelling and enjoyable all the way through.

After the onslaught last year of sad reunions and reappearances by rockers with nothing new or interesting to contribute to the state of modern music, it’s both refreshing and encouraging to see there’s at least one guy out there not afraid to put his past a bit behind him and rise to the challenge of producing something new and different.

Butler’s got a tour scheduled…tickets for most dates are already onsale:

Mon 03/20/06 Chicago, IL Abbey Pub
Tue 03/21/06 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
Wed 03/22/06 Toronto, ON Lee's Palace
Fri 03/24/06 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell's
Sat 03/25/06 New York, NY The Canal Room
Sun 03/26/06 Philadelphia, PA World Cafe Live
Fri 03/31/06 Seattle, WA Crocodile Cafe
Sat 04/01/06 Portland, OR Dante's
Mon 04/03/06 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
Tue 04/04/06 Las Vegas, NV House Of Blues
Thu 04/06/06 West Hollywood, CA Key Club
Fri 04/07/06 San Juan Capistrano, CA Coach House
Sat 04/08/06 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern

The album is released 3/21/06.

Pre-order Richard Butler here.

Stream a few songs from the album at MySpace.

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