This concept of live records is still astounding to me at times.
That people want a recording of an artist performing in front of others
still seems a bit alien to me
great shows that I actually attended
are definitely worth listening to again
but usually live records
tend to leave me feeling a bit alienated. And electronic acts doing
live records seems even more alien in conceptuality - but not with
Thomas Dolby, the man who seems to be the originator of electronic
rock music for most of the masses. It's been an awfully long time
in the making, and seriously, I had no idea Mr. Dolby was still making
music. I was happily surprised to see this record come out, and even
happier about it after listening.
From the opening slow groove of "Leipzig Is Calling" to
the closing strains of "Airhead", Dolby turns in a spectacular
one-man performance. The crispy and slightly schizophrenic feeling
of "One Of Our Submarines" attains an almost Roger Waters'
Pink Floyd-style feeling. Nobody does vocoding better than
Dolby, and "I Live In A Suitcase" is a prime example, with
some classic vocal lines floating above a thick bed of analog synthesis.
The glorious days of synth-rock live on in the amazing techno-blips
of "Flying North", perhaps one of the grandest and moodiest
of all Dolby's compositions. The set lays back a bit for great tracks
like "Budapest By Blimp" and then bounces back for the quirky
and trippy "Europa And The Pirate Twins". By the time the
classic hits "Hyperactive" and "She Blinded Me With
Science" hit, there is little doubt that Dolby is as much a showman
and musician as he's ever been
possibly more so. "Hyperactive"
is gritty and soulful, filled with brilliant syncopation and jazzy
scatting. "Airhead" ends the set on a boppy tone, much lighter
than I would have expected for a closing song, but classic nonetheless.
While listening to Thomas Dolby play through some of these fantastic
songs is really great, it would be a much more exhilarating experience
watching the show
so while the CD release is great for the
car, I believe the truly great experience would be watching the
DVD release of the performance. Second best thing to being there,
1. Leipzig is Calling
2. One Of Our Submarines
3. I Live In A Suitcase
4. Flying North
5. The Flat Earth
6. Budapest By Blimp
8. Europa And The Pirate Twins
10. She Blinded Me With Science
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