Tuesday, May 25, 2010

1112 - Mojo 132. David Ackles - David Ackles (1968)

Track Listing

1. The Road To Cairo
2. When Love Is Gone
3. Sonny Come Home
4. Blue Ribbons
5. What A Happy Day
6. Down River
7. Laissez-Faire
8. Lotus Man
9. His Name Is Andrew
10. Be My Friend


Many moons ago I reviewed Ackles' third album, American Gothic, which was, frankly one of the greatest discoveries of this whole list. Now with the Mojo list I come to Ackles' self-titled d├ębut and it did not disappoint in the list.

As an album it is markedly more minimalist than American Gothic, mainly voice guitar and organ, it doesn't have the grandiose arrangement of his later work. I would not say that it makes it better, but it makes it different and quite interesting. What it also shows is that Ackles really doesn't need that much to make strong, affecting songs.

Pretty much every track here is amazing, and while Ackles follows a more pop structure here than in his later career, he still manages to develop his tracks to amazingly epic levels. Criticised at the time for not having "enough melody" it sounds surprisingly modern exactly because of its epic minimalism... which seems like a paradox but really isn't, not for Ackles.

Track Highlights

1. His Name is Andrew
2. Blue Ribbons
3. Laissez-Faire
4. Be My Friend

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Ackles' debut, described by music historian Richie Unterberger as Ackles' "most rock-oriented record", garnered faint praise from Rolling Stone critic Arthur Schmidt, who complained of thin melodies but who nevertheless described Ackles as "one of the best singers I've ever heard". The album's general mood is dark, unveiling what Piero Scaruffi described as Ackles' "eclectic and depressed talent".

His name is Andrew, sorry for the crackling vinyl but it was all I could find:

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