Saturday, December 17, 2005


Like in real life some of the people you meet on the internet are complete twits and make you hope, your paths may never cross again. But there are also some people that make you feel glad, you joined this vast virtual community.

One of the latter is Stewart from the far far away Canada. We “met” because we have a common hero (yes, the name is Duffy, Stephen Duffy). Stewart offered Stephen a helping hand with his website and Stephen accepted. (Stewart, what exactly did you do to get Stephen to email you back??? Do you think, he needs actuarial or accounting advice? Alas, that's about the only helping hand I could offer him.) Their acquaintanceship turned into a musical collaboration and the result can be heard on “Waiting”, the first album of Stewart’s band Brittlestar,

I am not a professional musician, only a “consumer” of vast amounts of music. And from that point of view I cannot but recommend the album. The eight songs on it are all very good, I would even go so far to call some little pop pearls. The lyrics mostly deal with that old classic "love" and its pitfalls. There a beautiful catchy melodies and fine guitar riffs aplenty.

My favourite songs are the rocky “Gasoline” and the more melodic "The long weekend" and “For you”. If you listen carefully you can hear Stewart’s wife Shannon say a couple of words in German on the latter! A Canadian with an Irish name speaking German. I like that. And “Waiting for you” features Cécile, one of the masterminds behind Aztec Moon, the elaborately made fanzine dedicated to The Devils/Stephen Duffy (mentioned a couple of times on this blog already). Which proves that Duffy fans are all incredibly talented people. (Apart from me, of course. I am a more or less talent-free zone, but there is always an exception to the rule, right?) The albums weakest song is probably "Passion is a hard thing to conceal". I don't really like the way it starts (the female vocals somehow don't sound quiet right) and I guess that sets me against it.

There are two bonus tracks on the album, which are remixes of “Goodbye” and “For You”, done in what I would call a funky dance style with techno (?) beats. Sorry Stewart, that’s not my cup of tea! Maybe they will improve if I listen to the album more often?

Apart from Stephen, Stewart has also managed to enlist the help of Stephen's girlfriend Retts Woods (she is an amazing photographer; she managed to make pictures of Pete Doherty, which made him look good! and Stephen's brother Nick Duffy ( for the photography and art work on the album. (What did Chris say? “I obviously don’t sleep with the right people”. Welcome to the club, dear!)

I was a bit worried that with all this "Duffyness" the album may turn out a failed attempt to sound like The Lilac Time. But it is definitely not. I don't know how big Stephen contribution was, but from the result I would guess that he had an advisor's role rather than a composer's. The music of Brittlestar has been compared to The Killers' and I can see where that comes from. There is a certain resemblance. But at the end of the day, Brittlestar sounds like ... Brittlestar.

Thank you for sending me the album, Stewart! And apologies if my amateur descriptions are not to the point (I don't even play an instrument, let alone speak the music business jargon). I promise that when you are a huge star (and that’s a “when” and not an “if”), I will not sell it on Ebay. Even if I am completely broke then. It’s autographed, I could make a fortune! :-)


At December 31, 2005 5:44 am, Blogger Rurality said...

I think it's a great album too! I think "Gasoline" and "Goodbye" are my favorites.

When I first heard the DJ's remixes I thought, "Oh, so that's what the kids are up to nowdays..."!

Not my style either on those.


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