The All Music Guide’s review of Scott Walker’s previous album, 1995’s Tilt, paint it as one of the most difficult albums ever recorded, up there with Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music. And they’re absolutely right. Tilt is an album that I find very easy to admire, that I’m very fascinated by, even after 11 years — but it rarely leaves my CD case, and only then for a short while.
However, if the clips that appear on the micro-site for Walker’s latest, The Drift, are any indication, critics such as the AMG are going to have come up with new sets of descriptions for obtuse, difficult recordings. Sparse atmospherics, ominous guitars, song structures that are so threadbare they barely exist, and Walker’s rich voice singing cryptic lyrics about Benito Mussolini’s mistress and Elvis Presley’s stillborn twin brother. But what else would you expect from the likes of Scott Walker.
The Drift will be released by 4AD Records on May 23, 2006. The album has already garnered a 5-star review in The Observer, which claims that “it might require an edition of Cliffs Notes to decipher but that does nothing to detract from its naked power.”