Friday, November 23, 2012

Scott Walker Bish Bosch

I find it's best to never fully believe an Artist. They'll tell you the truth, but it'll be "their truth"- it will be heavily subjective, and from a perspective that isn't yours. Such is definitely the case with Scott Walker, and if you follow me, it'll strip away most of the enigma from him, so, only read this if you want the mystery gone.
See, he started out as a crooner- more aligned with Perry Como, Neil Sedaka, Burt Bacharach and so on than the Teen pop he was identified as being. Then, he took the crooner style to an anti-confessional style just as confessional singer-songwriters got popular. Along the way, he got a knack for delivering lyrics that were astute "slice of life" kitchen dramas of the the minute moments of pathos in every day British life. Then, goes the myth that created the mystery, he retreated and became surreal. I don't think that's it at all- instead, I think he wanted to get even more concrete- he abandoned narrative, he abandoned pop song structure, and pursued a more and more accurate depiction of what "real life" as he saw it, occurred. Our thoughts don't follow a narrative, so why should his lyrics? Likewise, our lives don't have a pop soundtrack, so his songs are not melodic, but evocative. You cannot simultaneously be an observer and the observed, so he became reclusive and removed. I don't see any mystery in his method.
So, why listen to Scott Walker? Because just like real life, amidst the cacophony and chaos, we create order   in our minds, we come up with harmonies in our head. So, I'd like to think that what my brain does with his perspective is to add my pleasant delusions, and thus, I hear far more pretty things in my life than he does in his.
It's certainly not "easy" listening, so I don't blame anyone for hating this, but this points out the other side of "truth"-don't fully trust critics, either. They're only able to give you their perspective, as well. Ultimately, you have to trust your ears, eyes and mind. That's the value in mentioning any of this-to get you to trust me a little less in my aesthetics, and a little more in my philosophy.

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