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Where Did Everything Go So Badly Wrong? by Colin Mounsey

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Reviewed on 30th July 2006.


Where Did Everything Go So Badly Wrong?

By Colin Mounsey

Colin Mounsey has issues: "This man created evil, this man created pain" just two of the accusations labelled at Daniel O'Donnell's favourite bearded man on 'Fuck You Jesus'. Christ almighty.

Indeed, Colin has built up a fair few cult followers with his well received previous two albums 'The Hungry Pig' and 'The Panda and Piano'. His reputation for making far out and dangerously sparse music has rightly been lauded by his fans, and certainly won't suffer with his latest offering, the snappily titled 'Where Did Everything Go So Badly Wrong'. The Hunslet-based music man kicks off with an eerie piano piece entitled 'A Fear Of Flying', straight from Radiohead's cutting room floor. 'Home (I Don't Want To)' follows and sounds like Ladysmith Black Mambazo with Thom Yorke singing backing vocals.

It's a strange opening to the album. At both barely over a minute long the two tracks are certainly striking, almost in a soundtrack like sense. The first real 'song' arrives with the ironic sing-a-long, errr, 'Fuck You Jesus'. So sing-a-long you could almost imagine a children's choir doing the business on Songs Of Praise. With handclaps. It's a brooding acoustic effort that serves to shock rather than entice.

A better reflection of Mounsey's talent duly comes with the sterlingly beautiful 'Recovery Plans'. Like a stripped down version of Radiohead newie '4 Minute Warning', it would have sat perfectly where one of those stupid ego indulgencies were on Amnesiac. It's truly superb, managing to be aching ("When nothing said can help") and uplifting ("Tell me where to start so I begin") at the same time.

'The Ballad Of Wakefield Jail' throws the course of the CD into another direction. A stripped folk song, reminiscent of Willy Mason's recent offerings (think 'Still A Fly' and 'Where The Humans Eat'), it still manages to charm. 'The Last Express' is similar, with an ode to lovelorn train journeys this time taking on Mounsey's already overloaded mind.

Like Mounsey says on the sleevenotes, this is "as much a collection of ideas as it is songs". A collection that shows his mind to be one of the most interesting around and one that deserves to be explored.

As long as you're not Jesus, that is.



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