Tuesday, 23 February 2010

White Light Review

So today we come to Gene Clark and White Light. Of all the albums in all the world that I have heard this is one of my favourite ever. My heart did a little leap this morning when I pulled it from the shelf, that BMW cutting me up just past Rugeley was not going to dampen my spirit one iota.
Its an alt country album in the best traditions of Gram Parsons, Neil Young and Clarks former home, The Byrds, it however does beat the living shit out of any of them, it beats them, stamps on their fingers, flicks them the V’s and says check that out, thats how to do an album, and just as this album is about to slam the door on a crying simpering Parsons, it looks back over it’s should and declares that you can stick you Flying Burrito Brothers up your arse.
It’s a good album.
My daughter, my idle baby girl (21) this week played me a Ryan Adams track and a flying Burrito Brothers track, it caught me off guard it has to be said, they were quite good, thats not what caught me off guard, the off guard catching was down to my dyed in the wool indie/rock/pop girl branched out beyond her comfort zone and played me a couple of tracks that I had never heard, but liked whole heartedly. Neither here nor there though as I know that Adams or FBB’s could produce a track that comes close to anything on this album, I have stated elsewhere on this blog that I do believe that they should make children listen to this album in schools.

“OK class, get out your ipods and turn to White Light, the seminal alt country album by former Byrd Gene Clark”

He even makes Stand By Me sound good on here, this version of the album, and I didn’t think that was possible (Stand by me being one of the few songs that regardless of the cover, it always sounds bad, yes I have heard that version before you say Lennon).

The Virgin is a song of astonishing quality, but its more than one track, For a Spanish Guitar its just consistent more than any other album I am likely to hear this entire year or beyond for that matter...maybe....another favourite is in the D’s.

Yes I may be looking at this through rose coloured specs, on the whole alt country is not my thing, but when its this good the genre isn’t important and its the songwriting that shines though. Clark on the whole is the lead songwriter and it is his songs that are the most fragile and at times plaintive and imploring. When he takes up someone like Dylans words its easier for him to pull down a mask, and that seems to be what he does. This is not a bad thing, or a criticism, it allows his focus to be on his playing and not conveying his innermost thoughts.

So an album that is perfect, faultless and completely without a flaw. It has to be 10 out of 10.

With Tomorrow by Gene Clark

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