- 07 Nov 18
Last year’s Prince Of Tears saw Dury combine some of his old man Ian’s mannerisms with a whiff of Serge Gainsbourg’s Melody Nelson arrangements – the title track could be a London version of yer man à tête de chou. It’s a good record and it earned him his best notices so far, which makes this slight step backwards a bit odd really.
A collaboration with French dance music homme Étienne de Crécy (the Super Discount albums) and Delilah Holliday of Skinny Girl Diet, the backing tracks are certainly less organic than his previous outings as the guitar, bass and drums have all been put away. First single ‘White Coats’ is a good example, Dury gives it his cockney drone over fairly predictable synthetic fare with breaks for Holliday’s voice on the chorus. That’s basically the formula throughout.
If you’re a fan of Dury, Snr, and why wouldn’t you be, then you can’t help being constantly reminded of him – the “caustic motherfucker” having problems with his missus in ‘Tais Toi’, the opening ‘I can’t imagine being that pretty” line of ‘Walk Away’, the casual reporting of “making love in a horrible hotel room” in ‘How Do You Make Me Feel’, and having a go at David Cameron and Foghorn and her Machine in ‘Only My Honesty Matters’
Dury’s delivery is engaging as always but the half arsed, will-this-do? electronics from Monsieur de Crécy, and Holliday’s monotone, let the side down. As Dury puts it on ‘Centipedes’ “one day to the next, I’m sending these messages, no one really gives a fuck”. Despite the fact that this “album” will only trouble you for a paltry nineteen odd minutes, you’ll struggle to give one too. Underwhelming.