donderdag 15 september 2016

Narcissism Blues. Einfach Kurt

Last year I wrote on Einfach Kurt's previous album 'Moths'. An album so dark that I had to listen hard to find the humour buried beneath the dread, sludge and fear. Not so on this new album called Narcissism Blues. The tongue-in-cheek is there. It seems a trademark of Kurt.

"I care for you, but I love myself". Message understood. Whatever or whoever is present around Einfach Kurt, he keeps falling down to look at his reflected image. There's one item in which this message takes a wrong turn. The band does not keep this extremely pleasant song for itself, but shares it with all of us. On the other hand the more people profess liking the song, the more there is to enjoy in the image in the pond. That's a dilemma I'm not clear about yet.

With 'Moths' Koert van Essen and his band had surprised me in a quite pleasant way. What to expect with such a band name? Just not much, I'll confess a year after the previous review. Because of "Moths' I put Narcissism Blues into the player with a lot of expectation. The fun thing is that this new album meets all the criteria that I have linked to Einfach Kurt over the past.

Narcissism Blues rocks, the lyrics have elements to listen with interest, something to discover and the songs have a melodic quality and diversity. From blues rock, to rock and Bob Dylan style blues rock. This album holds a lot for different ears. Perhaps too much for some.

'Extra Medium' is probably the weirdest example. Sounding like a Bob Dylan rock song from the 'Blonde On Blonde'/'Bringing It All Back Home period, with a lyric concerning the way a piece of meat is cooked. With a lead guitar that wasn't invented yet in 1965/66 (played by Einfach Kees (Lewiszoon)). That's humour for you, alright. Those who listen will find more examples of styles where Einfach Kurt dips his nose in, to stay in Narcissus' style, explores and discards again for his next fave.

The way Einfach Kurt plays his music here leads to an eclectic album in which nothing is held back. A subdued rocksong like 'I Hate Everyone' gets a soul injection with the singing of  Einfach Karlijn (Wolsing) and a great Hammond organ. Add a Herman Brood like piano and an amalgam of styles comes forward that is pretty much irresistible.

It all ends with a family history in singer-songwriter style, in a way Cowboy Gerard style, but for that the story takes some too special twists and turns. The song, Palm Sunday', as such is not so special, but that is not what it is about. The music is just the vehicle for the story. Go ahead and find out yourself.

Narcissism Blues is a satisfying album for those anxious to hear more from Einfach Kurt after that fun album 'Moths' and for those who would like to know more from an artist that is not afraid to explore where he can go, following different musical styles, without losing himself in the process. One of the better albums from this country in 2016.


You can listen to 'Narcissism Blues' here:

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