Scott Walker: Bish Bosch Probably the most impenetrable album of the year--for me at least. Everyone remember that awkward Lou Reed and Metallica collab from last year, Lulu? This is like that, except done right--there's mystery here, and a pervading sense of wicked zaniness keeps you going and laughing along, even when Walker is at his most obtuse. It's one of those albums you feel like you could listen to all day on repeat and never come one inch closer to understanding what was going through the minds of the people behind it, and I think there's value in that. If you've been following Walker 'recently' (by which I mean his output in the last twenty years or so) you'll have an easier time adjusting to this than others will, yet its still something of a departure even from Tilt and The Drift. Both of those, at least, seemed to be concerned with daily emotions, no matter how abstractly said emotions were approached. Here Walker is maybe mining the human experience so deeply (and in such a dark, slimy place!) that it's essentially impossible to understand what he's ranting about at any given moment--and in those instances where he is being crystal clear he's either telling jokes or insulting someone. Or waxing poetically about mutilation and violence. Perhaps it's best to not approach this album with serious intent--to some degree, I think that approaching this album 'academically' will only lead to frustration and disappointment. It'd probably be better to just get drunk and let its escapist deconstructionism take you on a merry journey for the 70-odd minutes this thing lasts--or to turn it on at inopportune moments in order to freak your friends and family out.
Who's this album for, then? Well, people like me I suppose. Whatever that means. If you like avant-garde rock, dark singer/songwriters, and even black ambient, you'll probably find something to appreciate here. If Mr. Bungle's self-titled album played a formative role in the development of your taste in weird music, there's probably something to this that you'll enjoy. And if you think that Walker's bizarre '9/11' track/dark Elvis fantasy 'Jesse' from The Drift is one of the most moving things you've ever heard, then yeah, please give this a listen.
Edited by metalsonata - 12/16/12 at 10:46am