Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Memory & Desire-30 Years in the Wilderness
Genres: Pop, Rock
UK two CD collection from the prolific and much feted British songwriter whose music career began 30 years ago. This collection, compiled by Stephen and completely remastered from the original tapes, takes in both his solo... more »
UK two CD collection from the prolific and much feted British songwriter whose music career began 30 years ago. This collection, compiled by Stephen and completely remastered from the original tapes, takes in both his solo and Lilac Time work. Having begun his career in the embryonic Duran Duran he went on to find solo fame as Tin Tin and (the orginal!) Duffy intertwined with his band project The Lilac Time. In 2005 he co-wrote Robbie Williams' multi-million selling Intensive Care album and has also worked with Nick Rhodes, Nigel Kennedy and Alex James. The 36 track set includes two previously unreleased songs - one a brand new piece and the second a radical reworking of his biggest hit 'Kiss Me'. Universal.
One Great Disc, One So-So Disc, and Extended Commentary from
W. Wilson | Boxborough, MA | 10/24/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a bit at a loss as to how to review this, for several reasons.
First, I have not seen the film of the same name. I have only seen snippets. (Also in the works, slated for a September 2010 release, is Stephen Duffy's book _Memory & Desire._)
So, not having seen the film, it's hard to know if the 36 songs selected for this two-disc set are a kind of soundtrack essential to the film. I don't know whether the film was made first and then Stephen selected appropriate songs, or if Stephen picked out his favorite songs from his and The Lilac Time's back catalog and then the film was made.
What I do know is this two-disc set has a terrific disc one, a so-so disc two, and a well-written, full-color, 36-page booklet with lots of interesting photographs and explanations of songs. Oh, lyrics are included for all songs.
There's no questioning the brilliance of the first disc, which contains a new track, "Memory & Desire," and 17 other songs from the mid-1980s to 1998 or so.
During this period Stephen and The Lilac Time (and sometimes Stephen without the Lilacs) released terrific folk-pop-psychedelic songs. It seemed that each album was full of can't-miss pop songs full of witty lyrics, tight arrangements, and great vocal harmonies. While bands like Blur and Oasis were stealing the headlines, Stephen was actually writing songs at least as good and probably better than these bands.
Perhaps the best album of the lot was Music in Colors (1993), in which Stephen collaborated with violinist Nigel Kennedy. From that album, Music in Colors, Galaxy, and A Fall from the Sky are represented here.
Stephen doesn't even need to include the "hits" from the early albums, and the material on disc one is still phenomenal.
It's when I get to disc two that the material starts to sound less creative, less striving. It seems that two things have happened: (1) Stephen has given up writing Britpop singles and (2) has decided to stick with folk music entirely. It's not that there aren't some excellent moments on disc two (for instance, "In the Evening of Her Day" has a great bridge); it's just that Stephen is very much into being a "confessional" artist these days, writing a fair amount of personal songs. They're mostly somber, and I admit to not always being in the mood for them. Oh, I musn't forget that there's a reworking of his mid-1980s hit "Kiss Me" here. It's so radical a reworking that it's as if he's torn the original into shreds and lit it on fire.
It seems that Stephen doesn't play the electric guitar anymore, or use very many studio effects.
I think it's a shame that he's removed this box of colors from his palette."