Baby Bird – Dying Happy (Baby Bird Recordings, 1997)

Baby Bird
Dying Happy

CD Baby Bird Recordings BABY BIRD CD5 (UK, 1997)

01. Losing my Hair
02. Tomorrow’s Gone
03. Petrol Cigarette
04. When Everyone Speaks English, the World Will Explode
05. Homesick Satellites
06. TV
07. The Unemployable Rub Oil on her Coffin
08. Grandma Begs to Be 18 Again
09. It’s Alright Dad, Isn’t It
10. Lead Cloud
11. Cheap Astronaut
12. Metal Waterpistol

These songs were written in chosen isolation. If someone else had been in the room, the freedom to experiment would never have been there. This is the fifth in the series of Baby Bird recordings. (Stephen Jones)

The Fifth release in the Baby Bird recordings series.
The release was held up because of the sudden succes of You’re Gorgeous.
Until The Black Album came out in 2002, this was the only solo album to be released after Ugly Beautiful.
Often refered to as a kind of ‘best of the rest’.

(The Bad Pages)

Recorded at the same time as his first four collections of solo work, but not released until some months after Ugly Beautiful had finally come out, Dying Happy is another somewhat ragtag compilation of never-planned-for-public-listening material. Like the rest, though, it has more than its share of charms, thanks to Stephen Jones’ seemingly effortless knack for hooks, and above all, the album’s deep blue melancholia. While it’s always been something that’s cropped up in his work, there aren’t any nutty asides like « Bad Jazz » or winsome songs like « Lemonade Baby » here. The emphasis instead is on late night, deep blue moods, with roots in everything from Massive Attack to electronic Krautrock. The opening number « Losing My Hair » is probably one of the most downbeat things he’s recorded to date, with a gentle, sad electric guitar line and Jones’ falsetto at its most extreme, detailing a desperate love lyric; it makes for a striking beginning, very much setting the tone for the collection. « Tomorrow’s Gone » continues the feeling admirably — an instrumental with buried synth tones and random radio samples that combines with a mixed-low operatic singer (if not Jones, then a great sample of someone). It progresses from there — percussion loops emphasize the moodier moments, and keyboard lines suggest shadows and a soft drift through dark dreams. Occasional scraps of lyrics surface with great effect, as on « TV, » when Jones concludes the song with « Watch the window, » a metaphor Thom Yorke would probably kill for. Not that Jones’ sense of humor is entirely absent — labeling one particularly gripping instrumental « When Everyone Speaks English, the World Will Explode » and another with a perversely pretty music box melody « The Unemployable Rub Oil on Her Coffin » are nice touches. (Ned Raggett, All Music Guide)

FR Je ne comprends pas le manque de succès de ce blog malgré tous mes efforts et le temps que j’y consacre chaque jour. 2011 sonnera donc l’heure des remises en question: les drones c’est fini (tout le monde s’en fiche), place aux albums avec des pochette sexy (ce n’est pas racoleur mais accrocheur, nuance). Et on commence fort avec ce Dying Happy, cinquième volume autoproduit des archives de Stephen Jones, ici bien loin de son tube You’re Gorgeous, avec des morceaux principalement instrumentaux, limite ambient (on croirait certains titres sortis du Selected Ambient Works d’Aphex Twin), plombé par la mélancolie, régulièrement très touchant (et matez-moi cette pochette canon).
ENG Nobody visits this blog, nobody downloads the music, nobody leaves comments. In 2011 things will have to change: no more drones (drone is not attractive), from now on I’ll exclusively post albums with super sexy covers. And we start right now with this 5th volume of home recordings from Stephen Jones. Full of melanchola, mainly instrumental, almost ambient (think Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works), perfect soundtrack if you’re trapped in the snow at home, at the airport or in your car. Nice quiet music for sunday mornings too, even without snow (and watch this super hot cover!).

Visit Baby Bird (or here)

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3 commentaires pour Baby Bird – Dying Happy (Baby Bird Recordings, 1997)

  1. Dave M dit :

    no more drones (drone is not attractive)

    Don’t even joke about that. Seriously [he said, joking]. Anyway, my New Year’s resolution is to listen to more drone this year. But this looks good too!

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