Saturday, July 25, 2015

Andy Stott - "Luxury Problems" (LP Review)

For a while I've been searching for the words to describe Andy Stott's 2012 release "Luxury Problems".  His two 2011 EPs, "Passed Me By" and "We Stay Together", are darkly mesmerizing but "Luxury Problems" represents a significant step forward.  There's still the vast, rich, looming soundscapes that Stott paints that only occasionally veer into the realm of conventional song structures (the title track being perhaps being the closest thing to a "song"), but the thing that really sets this LP apart is the expert sampling of Alison Skidmore's vocals that give this LP a Julee Cruise / Elizabeth Fraser aesthetic while at the same time crafting a unique sound.  The result is an angelic touch to an otherwise menacing, bleak movie soundtrack where Skynet is the hero instead of the villain. 

The professional reviews are more eloquent (Pitchfork, Allmusic, Tiny Mix Tapes), but words are ultimately insufficient. 

Standout songs: all of them

Skip 'em songs: none.

Final Score: 10/10, including the rare "beyond music" label. 

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