Search - David J :: Estranged

David J
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

David J seventh solo album is a cerebral affair complete with brainy wordplay, sly cultural references, and dreamy folkloric parables. This is where the former Bauhaus/Love & Rockets bassist indulges his whimsical side, c...  more »


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All Artists: David J
Title: Estranged
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Heyday
Release Date: 9/9/2003
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Style: Goth & Industrial
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 735711005623

David J seventh solo album is a cerebral affair complete with brainy wordplay, sly cultural references, and dreamy folkloric parables. This is where the former Bauhaus/Love & Rockets bassist indulges his whimsical side, creating eccentric and morally ambiguous characters who offer their wry and spot-on asides on modern life and love. While J's singing is deceptively mild, his lyrics are not. He may no longer be a member of Bauhaus, but his irony and dark humor is still honed to a sharp edge, as he paints skewed musical portrait of an array of damaged characters like the near psychopath of "Mess Up," or the teed off husband who plots an elaborate revenge fantasy for his partner in "If Anything Ever Happened to You." However, the artist seems to have shed most of the chilly, dissonant musicianship that colored the music of his former bands, adopting an almost Beatlesque sound. Breaking up the prettiness is the feral and guitar playing of Dave Navarro on "Guitar Man," the Bread chestnut that David J. seems inordinately attached to, having covered it previously on an EP. --Jaan Uhelszki

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CD Reviews

Almost Perfect
Jackson Landers | Charlottesville, VA United States | 12/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"David J's body of work has created a very high standard. Even if we ignore his hugely influential and groundbreaking work with Bauhaus and Love & Rockets, Mr. J has put a number of truly timeless masterpiece albums.

Th tone of the album at times reminds me - favorably - of Beck's 'Sea Change.' 'Static Cling' and 'Estranged' are painfully sad and beautiful songs about the apparant end of a marriage. I find these songs particularly heart-wrenching having listened to David J's album 'Songs from Another Season' constantly from the age of 14 through the present. For the uninitiated, that album's lyrics offered a touchingly pleasant view of marriage, children and life in general. There were entire songs devoted to the importance of a good work ethic and counting one's blessings. Who else writes songs about that stuff? 'Songs from Another Season,' with it's nearly ideal view of conventional adult life had a profound effect on me and certainly on others. I would truly not be the person I am today without that album. So to hear songs on this new album about the disintegration of the marriage that seemed to ground his previous work is really a very painful experience. Surely it takes real creative talent to have that kind of effect on an audience.

This is a very good album with some very high points but it falls just shy of the 5 star standard that the artist's past work demands. Lower points include 'Pulling Arrows from Our Heels' and 'In the Great Blue Whenever.' Both songs - and moments of others - needed a little more work. Perhaps I am venturing into analyzing things that a critic ought not to, but David J's past solo work tended to involve a creative partner in the studio. A producer to insist that rough edges be smoothed out and point out that certain touching lines may also be cliched. No matter how brilliant an artist is, he or she needs that from time to time. This album appears to lack such a partner.

This is very much worth buying and listening to. Any fan of John Cale, Beck's slower work or David Byrne would do well to buy this CD along with any of his earlier work you can get your hands on."
A Zen Tone review
Jackson Landers | 10/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I have never bought a David J album I didn't like. I was truly surprised on a local CD hunt to find this one.
David J is a well keep secret in certain circles. This album is another example of the one CD you were missing while taking a long drive along the Pacific Coast Highway. Solid, yet subtle, this is a must have for the David J fan. Although I could do without the opening track 'the guitar man', I'll just write that one off as David being a little kitsch and give those marketing reps a break.
Highlights include ' Ruined City ' the jewel of the album. Honest lyrical content with superb production. Reminds me of that 'no one's sending roses' vibe, but a notch up the belt.
I've heard David incorporating more of the alternative country vibe over the years and I believe it suits him well. 'Bright in your absence' is a great track to point this out. Just witty and fun.'pulling arrows from our hills' & 'static cling' tend to have a ring of there own. I also liked 'crashed' as well.
Never try to predict this guy. He incorporates all styles and manages them with the art of a manic depressive ringmaster.
If you can, get your hands on the vinyl copy of 'crocodile tears and the velvet cosh', now out of print I believe. 'Songs from another season' and 'Urban Urbane' are a must have as well. This album will take its place among them. Also heyday records has got a great bonus deal along with this CD on their site.
I'm really happy to see this guy still kicking and writing. A unique style worth your time. Too bad 'Goth Girls of Southern California' is not on this release...It would have solved that whole 'guitar guy' thing. Otherwise I would have given it an extra star..."