Saturday, December 19, 2009

Top 10 Albums of 2009

4 Fulton Lights – Healing Waters EP
We ran the numbers/ and checked it all twice/ gathered all the experts/ and took all their advice/ we had it/ we had the technology/ and the science was flawless/ we had the wise men and world leaders and religions behind it/ we had it/ we thought we had it/ let's just admit it/ let's just call it what it is/ we built a monster ...
Only six songs, but for me this record captures the end of the noughties zeitgeist better than anything else.

According to Fulton Lights is a Brooklyn-based* musician Andrew Spencer Goldman accompanied by an eclectic variety of musicians – among them players who have worked with the Walkmen, Wilco, Dälek, Ida, the Beauty Pill, and Grenadine. I have heard of Ida and Wilco, but none of the others and I am not sure that it would make much difference if I had.

Healing Waters is ghostly and sparse, with distant beats and slabs of distorted guitars. Sort of like listening to My Bloody Valentine on your iPod while walking past Girls Aloud playing a concert in an empty church. Like on Loveless there are moments of tender beauty and catchy hooks amongst the glorious racket, but on a first listen this sounds more raw and ragged than the My Bloody Valentine's classic. It is only later, when you listen closely, that you can hear how precisely and artfully it has been put together.

*UPDATE: Apparently he doesn't live in Brooklyn anymore – according to the A.V. Club he moved back to Washington D.C. a few months ago to go to law school!

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