Conn Bobby The Golden Age Review

Album. Released 2001.  

BBC Review

Get this album but make sure your 36' loons, your platform wedges and your fairisle...

Martin Dench 2002

This is an interesting one. The words 'pastiche', 'satire' and 'spoof' spring to mind when listening to The Golden Age, but somehow they don't convey the overall air of menace that hangs over this music. Bobby Conn is clearly a very clever and talented man and this album, like the two that preceded it, plunders heavily (if not exclusively) from 1970's glam, though there are elements of disco and even prog rock; the closest comparison is perhaps David Bowie's glam fuelled genre hopping. Take a look at Bobby's eyes in the photo on the back of the jewel case and you'll get an idea of where he's coming from!

Stand-out tracks are the multi-faceted "You've Come a Long Way" and the folky "Whores" (parental approval required on this one!). There are places on this record where the chord progressions are not quite right, such as on "You've Come a Long Way", and you can't help but feel that Bobby is letting us know that things are not quite as they seem. It's all superbly arranged and played (by a crack team of US post rockers), but it is difficult to get away from the feeling that you are being toyed with; that all of the 1970's references are purely part of some disturbing world that Bobby's conjured up (and one which I certainly wouldn't want to live in!). Lush strings, songs split into sections, high-pitched vocal gymnastics, strong guitar and a nicely crisp production make for a top notch, entertaining listen. The real problem is that Bobby is in a world of his own, and it is hard to know just where that world is and what life on it is like, although my feeling is that it would be more than a little sinister there. A bit like Margate on a Saturday night in 1973 in fact, so maybe Bobby has hit the mark!

Get this album but make sure your 36" loons, your platform wedges and your fairisle tank top are dusted off and your afro is trimmed and burning...

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