“ I actually kind of like it, but maybe it’s just because I’m hung-over”
These would be the words that would change my perception of this heavily experimental album by the rock legend, Arno Carstens.
In my eyes this man can do nothing wrong. Then came this album. “How could you ruin bubblegum on my boots like that!?”… “Did you even open your guitar case?!” … “how could you lead me on with such a good single, and then ruin it for me??”… As you can assume, I was angry…
The album is filled with odd female vocal parings and little to no instrument usage. You get two less satisfying covers of his own songs and amongst all of this the awesome AC/DC acoustic cover doesn’t even seem to matter.
Until I was driving home one day with a very hung-over musician friend. And his sentiments changed it all for me. I realized I could not possibly compare this album to any of his previous work. I also couldn’t dare listen to it when I was in my usual frantic state of mind. This album had to become my form of yoga.
Only then was I able to really hear all the layers this album had to it. His overly produced vocals become haunting and rather than simply “listen” to the music, you honestly start to FEEL it. You start to uncover the impossibly complex mash up of orchestral instruments, a bass guitar, simple electronic beats and the unconventional complement a female voice could bring to his powerful belting.
This album is certainly underrated and it is no doubt thanks to it’s “first of it’s generation” status. If you are able to look past that I highly recommend you take this album for a spin. Arno will shake your beliefs in what you thought you knew about alternative music.
Trust me, you will start to see sounds…