December 30, 2010

Spottiswoode: Piano 45 + Spottiswoode & His Enemies: Wild Goosechase Expedition

Jonathan Spottiswoode
photo: Samantha Moranville

Jonathan Spottiswoode is a musical tightrope walker, hovering between styles without a safety net. His latest effort is piano driven solo album and a new record under the Spottiswoode & His Enemies banner drops in 2011.

Piano 45 could be his midlife crisis album - he says so himself, but his sardonic humor will get him past that. He can be a shy knight in shining armour, inviting the listener for a leisurely ride on his Chariot. A wordsmith with an immaculate sense of timing, this set of the songs can stand up against Randy Newman and open the ears of fans of Rufus Wainwright.

Spottiswoode: Piano 45 Tracks:
  1. Sentimental Song
  2. Now, Didn't I?
  3. Haven't Changed At All
  4. You'll See
  5. I'd Even Follow You To Philadelphia
  6. Understand
  7. The Walk Of Shame
  8. I Know That Heaven's Gonna Come
  9. Wonderful Surprise
  10. Happy Or Not
  11. I'm The One For You
  12. Fine Wine
  13. Twelve Strikes Of The Clock
  14. Chariot
  15. What Comes Next?
Spottiswoode &  His Enemies: Wild Goosechase Expedition border=

Wild Goosechase Expedition is the follow-up for double whammy release by Spottiswoode & His Enemies of the That's What I Like and Salvation albums in 2008. While those two records could be divided into a party and a mellow collection of songs, this one is more serious. The Enemies are in full swing. Think Jarvis Cocker with band that is a cross between The Pixies and The Band.

Spottiswoode's observations are draped in wall-to-wall arrangements (I'd Even Follow You To Philadelphia), sad pedal steel (Problem Child) and angry trumpets (Wake Me Up When It's Over).Happy Or Not and Chariot, two songs of his solo album get a second outing with mixed results. The solo "Happy" is more to the point, while the band version Chariot is more melancholic, with touches of brass. The songs are divided into four themes, but never mind that. Wild Goosechase Expedition is a record that flows as a concept album about loss and getting older. Luckily Spottiswoode is aging well.

  1. Setting Out
  2. Beautiful Monday
  3. Happy Or Not
  4. Purple River Yellow Sun
  5. The Kingdom Of The Dead
  6. All In The Past
  7. Just A Word I Use
  8. I'd Even Follow You To Philadelphia
  9. Sometimes
  10. Massacre In The Desert
  11. Chariot
  12. All Gone Wrong
  13. Problem Child
  14. Happy Where I Am
  15. Wild Goosechase Expedition
  16. All My Brothers
  17. Starvation And Surrender
  18. Wake Me Up When It's Over
  19. The Rain Won't Come
  20. Wonderful Surprise
  21. You Won't Forget Your Dream


HCTF review of That's What I Like and Salvation.

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