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VIDA DE-sign by Michael Buckingham, aka Mick Muttley

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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Mick Buckingham Retrograde Reviews: Jan Linton - I Actually Come Back

Jan Linton, on the intriguingly titled "i actually come back", returns to offer us a classic ushering of all the artistic tropes that made angelo badalementi, david sylvian and "blackstar" era david bowie's music a greatly worthwhile venture to listen to, regardless of any earlier experience with its genres of influence. it is a highly respectable and inviting listen that warrant mature attention. the now extended to twelve track excursion includes lyrics in the sleevenotes, lyrics that deserve to be read and heard. this is very warming sound that does its best not to dance about architecture, but instead feel like its actually the blueprint to a great work. underlying the question is: does it finish sounding like a work in progress? the reality is very different - this is while rooted in 80s new wave symptomatica of the synth pop and art rock engine (jan linton amongst others had links with the burning shed label that released some of his earlier output, and collaborated with duran duran guitarist john taylor and bill nelson), moves the influences and time forward to a pleasant kind of eden garden romance. what one means with this compliment is to respect the angelic style of vocal, and the serene use of synthesisers. it is a genuinely pleasant piece of art, art that stops trying to be art the moment linton breaks into song. all songs have leo abrahams collaborating with linton, eno protege.

and why is that, we wonder? well, it might be down to the art of lyrics being not inextricably linked to songcraft. some have become very analytical about their lyrics, to the point that there are lyric and song meaning sites all over the internet in the 21st century. this statement questions who is perceiving the lyrics of course, and in most cases, it's the fans. for me the idea of being unpretentious about what one says - "funny, funny how people change" a simple case in point for linton = is the real special thing about this record, because the songcraft, rather than the lyrics alone, tows the whole meaning behind creating a actual point to actually releasing. indeed, "i actually come back". the seed is sown, the instruments untangle listener woes. that title might seem a bit naive to some of us who have spent their twenties at least in dead end jobs, thirties heads who suffer from information amnesia, and the fortysomethings who may as well be managers of the common diplomacy of the interweb by now. not everyone wants to live online, though, and this strays from the point of the album...it's about regeneration. what meaning you take from regeneration is always subjective, to some it will be about "depending on the kindness of strangers", in one of linton's stories. at other times it may be a more ambiental affair, a forest weave as in one of the closing cuts to the 12-track compact disc (subsequent presses have different art than the originals, it can be noted). whatever. the important thing is that coming back, for linton, abrahams and all his influences produced a classic selection, the twelve tracks presented here.

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