Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mr. Wright - Star Time (1999)


Star Time, Mr. Wright's second full length album was released on Le Grand Magistery in 1999. You’d think with Momus lending a hand on Wright’s sophomore LP, you’d expect a bit of absurdity of some sort amidst the pathos; maybe it’d contain a bit more flashiness, peacocking around with upbeat Momus brand satire, not the lachrymose, disheartening, usual fare that Wright knows and does best. However, despite Momus’ assistance on this record, it’s still undoubtedly a work of Kevin Wright. Outside of a few tracks with faster tempos and brighter, peppier steps where you can see Momus’ influences, such as “You’re a Queen,”(which is Wright's glammiest moment) “Star Time” and penultimate track “Balloon Race” this is unmistakably a Mr. Wright album. And although there’s this minor almost bipolar vacillation (not unusual for the “fancy man”), Wright is poignant as ever.

Much like the rest of his catalog, there is a very concise cinematic feel to Star Time. The majority of the record consists of a carefully laid out and meticulously orchestrated mixture of loungey and baroque style songs with lyrics defining unadulterated insecurities, hopelessness, and loneliness, with a dash of romanticism thrown in here and there all presented with the sincerity of a man who really means it - who really FEELS it. So don’t be mistaken, Star Time is not a cloying affair, but a genuine look deep into the soul of a true artist, and like all true artists, there is suffering here; it’s real and in your face. On “Don’t Walk in the Dark (Oh Baby)” Wright showcases empathy for his audience who feels the same, “…and you feel like you want to die / you know I sympathize with you” “and all those demons inside your mind / and all those people who are so unkind”

Wright can go from making you think he’s seconds away from offing himself in some dismal motel with a rusty razor blade, then with resilience, sounding zealous and spirited, and then immediately becoming introspective and somber again with the subsequent track. It keeps things interesting for sure. If I had to label him something (besides humble, passionate, and genuine), I’d say that Mr. Wright is a remembrancer (one who or that which reminds) and his role as such plays an important part in his music, whether it’s melancholy or soulful is not important. He holds the natural artistic prowess to evoke and it’s what makes his music so special and places him on a pedestal above his peers.

I've said it thrice and I'll say it again, since all of his albums are on iTunes, go buy them if you like what you hear from my posts – he is wholly deserving of it.

Rating: 9/10

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