- 09 Dec 05
The World Should Know has been around long enough by now for a consensus to have built up around it: that it shows a return to form after what’s now being seen — even, if I’ve read correctly, by Dave Couse — as the depressing damp squib of Genes. Well... that couldn’t be more wrong.
The World Should Know has been around long enough by now for a consensus to have built up around it: that it shows a return to form after what’s now being seen — even, if I’ve read correctly, by Dave Couse — as the depressing damp squib of Genes.
Well... that couldn’t be more wrong.
The first fatal flaw in this thesis is that, in truth, Genes skirted greatness. A perfectly structured, complete set of songs, sweet and strong and serene, it’s the best thing Couse has had his name to since, at least, I Want Too Much. The other flaw: from this perspective, The World Should Know is hugely disappointing. If it was down to me (and I’ve been hero-worshipping Couse since my Inter Cert), I’d be stripping out more than a handful of songs and leaving behind a well above average EP.
You can distil The World Should Know’s difficulties down easily enough. Musically, there’s too much going on, to too little effect; processed vocals and extraneous electronica where you don’t expect them, and where they take away from the songs. Couse produced The World Should Know and the abiding impresssion is that he could have done with a no-man – an Edwyn Collins, say, to focus the good ideas (the pure pop propulsion of ‘Batman and Robin’) and bin the bad (‘All I See’ has a humalong chorus, like a demented ‘Ghost Town’, which is both embarrassing and unlistenable).
Then, lyrically, there are too few ideas. ‘Celebrity’ and ‘Beauty Is’ are the most blatant offenders; each denounces, in bizarrely obvious terms, its chosen evil of the modern age. (Take ‘Beauty Is’: can there be anyone in the market for a Couse and the Impossible album who needs to be warned against the beauty myth?)
But even beyond those, we find ‘Fakers’, a sour, spoken tirade against no-one of importance (“Here they come/Dressed to kill/With their same old story to sell/With their words of wisdom/And without blinking an eye/Each word is a lie”), with none of the wit or dexterity of a ‘Why Me?, or a ‘Small Talk’. Even ‘Batman And Robin’ sounds weary, Couse picking a fight where there is none to be found.
The EP? Well, the track listing isn’t finalised, but it’ll include ‘The World Should Know’, and ‘A Celebration’, one of the openers of the year, defining exultant defiance in the face of death. And it’ll close with ‘As The Colours’, a song written for Dave’s dad; the most simple and striking of adieus, just a deft, sustained slide guitar, Dave Couse, his memories and an always open heart. “As the colours wash over you / I will never see you again / I’ll say goodbye every day”.
You wonder why the hero worship? It’s all here.