I Am Not There Anymore
Long-running London indie band The Clientele have returned with their first studio record in almost six years, I Am Not There Anymore.
The record, the band’s ninth, sprawls in its uniqueness and its runtime, clocking in at over an hour and transcending genre labels in its embrace of strings and unconventional rhythms. This ambition is evident from the first of the album’s 19 tracks, “Fables of the Silverlink,” which establishes I Am Not There Anymore as a record not unwilling to include everything but the kitchen sink, shifting and flowing constantly throughout its eight and a half minutes, concluding with a simple saunter driven by an anchor-like backbeat.
It’s followed by “Radial B,” the first of a handful of piano interludes. With one off-kilter strike of a chord, “Radial B” hits the listener in the chest in less than a minute of runtime. The “Radial” pieces are delightful and brilliant in their simplicity and briefness, providing short respites from music that doesn’t sound quite as though it requires respites.
While I Am Not There Anymore hides some of its highlights in the lowlight, it also shines in songs like “Dying In May,” which takes its title from a lyric in the aforementioned opening track, or perhaps vice versa. Sonically, it resembles George Harrison’s sitar-fueled experimentation of the Beatles’ psychedelic run. The vocals also resemble those of Harrison’s in their spooky melodicity.
The Clientele’s frontman and creative driving force, Alasdair MacLean, plays guitar in a style befitting of such a name. Perhaps the best guitar playing comes in the spindly “Stems of Anise,” in which carefully plucked acoustic guitar is the main melodic focus. The playing meanders throughout the steady beats provided by drummer Mark Keen.
Much of the record inhabits the left-of-center, but The Clientele demonstrate their capability of writing pop earworms in the shape of lead single, “Blue Over Blue,” another acoustic guitar tune accentuated by brass and vocal harmonies.
I Am Not There Anymore is a long and winding sonic journey, interspersed with sweet and tender interludes that only contribute to the authentic human touch of the record. A solid listening choice for music fans of all kinds.
Order I Am Not There Anymore by The Clientele HERE
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