Little better than highbrow aural torture
Never trust a blurb that instructs you on how to listen to a album. The sleevenotes on Scott Walker's latest exercise in obtuseness tells us 'we must' salute the great man's steadfast refusal to bow to compromise. It stinks of blackmail. Anyone familiar with Mr Engel's ouvre will be aware of his propensity to raise a middle finger aloft to the mores of industry convention.
This is after all a man who shunned megastardom with The Walker Brothers in favour of death obsessed kitchen-sink melodramas and Jaques Brel covers. It doesn't matter how much you admire the old cove's irascibility however, the fact is that much of 'The Drift' is little better than highbrow aural torture. So, just as it is up to Walker if he wants to offer us musings on Mussolini, Elvis's still-born brother and the Srebrinica massacre set against a backdrop of gothic gloom-pomp, it is also our god-given right to leave this guff to the die-hards.