It’s pissing rain outside and gloomy as all fuck and the chances of my getting outside to ride my bike later today aren’t great. Shit. Damn my luck! Anyway, I’m trying to make the best of things today regardless and get some fruitful work done but, truthfully, I’d rather be doing just about anything else…like, anything. There’s no rest for the weary though so I’m pressing forward with my training modules, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still wallow a little in my melancholy. And I know the perfect melancholy album to wallow with, the ‘Urban Urbane’ by David J.
Nobody in the world probably even knows this album exists except for me and, probably Michelle, a high school friend of mine (providing she can remember that far back that is).
‘Urban Urbane‘, David J’s (Bauhaus and Love & Rockets) fourth full-length solo release, is nothing if not appropriately titled. Recording in New York and L.A., the Englishman sets tales of city life against cool, elegant backing. His playing and production have never been better, and he’s ably abetted by such longtime co-conspirators as Max Eider (guitar), Owen Jones (drums), and even Peter Murphy, who sings backup on one song. However, the record is oddly split. The seven songs recorded in New York are mostly quite successful, especially the woozily atmospheric ‘A Man of Influential Taste‘, ‘Candy on the Cross‘ (why I purchased the album in the first place) and ‘Smashed Princess‘. But the five tracks recorded in Encino are uniformly terrible. ‘Tinseltown‘ is a clichéd look at SoCal shallowness, and ‘Serial Killer Blues‘ and ‘No Faith‘ are sub-John Lennon material where J makes the mistake of trying to really sing. He’s a fine vocalist when he stays within his comfort zone, but when he tries to cut loose he falls flat on his face. Some might be tempted to ascribe blame for this to Los Angeles itself, but that’s probably unfair; more likely some kind of peripheral circumstances are at work. Whatever the reason, though, this album has some nice moments early on but ends as a bit of a disappointment (much like my day might if my bike ride does in fact gets canceled).