Friday, August 31, 2007

Scott Walker: The Old Man's Back Again

Scott Walker, a former teen idol, released his fourth album appropriately title 4 in 1969. The album is full of delicate arrangements and Walker's trademark over-the-top vocals. "The Old Man's Back Again (Dedicated to the Neo-Stalinist Regime)" is his finest moment. The song, reportedly about the returned ghost of Stalin, is driven by a propulsive bass line, bursts of strings, and a reverb heavy backing chorus. Admittedly, Walker's thick baritone can be a bit off-putting at first for anyone with an easy listening phobia, but when the music slows, the strings swell and he sings, "His mother called him Ivan/then she died," your heart will break.



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