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Simple Kid
1
Vector Recordings
www.simplekid.com


Am I the only one that remembers when Blur was an amazing band? Back before Damon Albarn rediscovered disco music and lost his head a bit? Well, for those that thought Blur was on the track right off, and lamented, like me, the day that "Boys And Girls" was released, I give you… Simple Kid! Simple Kid (a.k.a. Ciaran McFeely) takes great songs, layers them with funky beats and interesting sonic bits and pieces. This album is being hailed as a modern masterpiece of recording, and Simple Kid himself is being hailed as the modern day Dylan. I don't know that I can fully agree with that, but neither can I argue it.

It seems McFeely derived the Simple Kid moniker while living on the streets in Santa Cruz and trying to bluff his way through a philosophical debate with another homeless man. The legend has it that the man saw right through McFeely's non-understanding of philosophy and called him a simple kid, and continued to call him this every time he would run across him. So, when McFeely began recording and working in music, he decided to keep everything simple, a real DIY style of doing things… and so the name kind of fit. Mythology in the making.

On 1, Simple Kid has pieced together an amazing collection of highly relevant tracks, both musically and lyrically. Musically, the songs run the gamut from Beck-ish breakbeats and grooves, to Bowie-like acoustic guitar and avant-garde passages, to a very Blur like phrasing and sound. The lyrics are amazingly simple in their delivery, belying their depth and coherence. A wealth of topics is cheekily covered on this release; from the plight of the homeless man, to the strange allure of the drug culture to those outside of it, to mascara drenched tiger-eyed tramps. On "The Average Man", McFeely gives us an excellent taste of his lyrical ability: "The average man is 35 years old/ he owns a car, but he dreams of a better one/ he's overweight, but he's working on losing some/ the average man on the street is not on the street/ and he will fall in love at least two times in his life/ and he will be unfaithful at least three times/ he loves his wife, but he sometimes dreams of a better one/ go, go the average man…" "Drugs" has an incredibly smooth and cool "Woke Up This Morning" vibe, the perfect song for the next wave of mobsters driving around town in Cadillacs movies. Listen up, Tarantino! License this song, before someone else does!

1 is proof that songs that have weight and substance can be fun to listen and dance to. Inversely, this record has all the makings of the great folk records of the later 60's, brimming with social and personal commentary. The new folk music has arrived. I'm jumping on board.

And make sure you pop on over to the Simple Kid website… it's very cool and highly interactive. And just looks real neato.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:

1. Hello
2. Truck On
3. Staring At The Sun
4. The Average Man
5. The Commuter
6. Drugs
7. Love's an Enigma
8. Supertramps & Superstars
9. Kids Don't Care
10. Breakups Breakdowns
11. No News



 

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Mike Doughty



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