Experimental Music Love

November 18, 2008

Jesse Malin – Mercury Retrograde: Live in New York City

Filed under: Album Reviews — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 12:56 am
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Jesse Malin – Mercury Retrograde: Live in New York City

It’s a harsh question to ask, but just what is the point of this album? And more significantly what is the point of Jesse Malin? Surely the world has enough male singer-songwriters, with a touch of whisky in their voice and a flaccid opinion of Western government eager to be got off their chest? And there’s probably (actually make that ‘definitely’) a good few better than Jesse Malin with their own derivative live albums to flog.

Malin’s attempt though is competent of course, with a piano, acoustic guitar and female backing offering a less pained version of what one might expect at a Ryan Adams’ show. But ultimately, it’s let down by a lack of songwriting quality. No matter what the arrangement or setting, On the Radio will be self-indulgent whimsy, that fails to ignite the meaning it longs for, and Cigarettes and Violets will never amount to any more adoring description than that of ‘Rufus Wainwright reject’.

Forget the songs though, and this album still rankles, with contrived opinion on Bush and how to listen to music that only further Malin’s vacuity in purpose. For (surely easily impressed) fans, it may offer some enjoyment for single figure listenings, but with so much music out there, others may be advised in pleasures elsewhere.

3.5/10

Release Date: 24 Nov

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