‘I Am Not There Anymore’ introduces breakbeats, dub and strings
Andy Willsher/Courtesy of the artist
From the late ’90s onward, The Clientele constructed a cult following round its amiably spooky, softly psychedelic sound — the aural equal of driving a ’68 Mini Cooper down rain-slicked roads towards a midnight ghost hunt within the woods. For an extended stretch, the British band reliably launched a quietly engrossing album each couple of years — constantly dreamy and unlikely to alienate Nick Drake aficionados — solely slowing down its output after 2010’s Minotaur. However I Am Not There Anymore spends 64 minutes gleefully lobbing a succession of musical monkey wrenches into the fragile patterns the British band has developed in its quarter-century of recording.
“Fables of the Silverlink” upends The Clientele’s trad-rock band template with drum-and-bass-tinged breakbeats. Guitar cedes the highlight to a scene-stealing cello. Halfway by means of, singer/guitarist Alasdair MacLean’s confidential, quintessentially English croon is changed on the forefront by visitor Alicia Macanas singing in Spanish.
Guitar, bass and drums are solely absent from “My Childhood,” the place Jessica Griffin of the Would-Be-Items delivers an eerie, disorienting recitation over a string quartet melee that appears like a rush hour visitors jam. Refined dub manufacturing touches fleck “Backyard Eye Mantra,” which closes with a repeating chant ominous sufficient to make you swear off shadowy alleys for some time. “Dying in Might” revolves round a confounding time signature and modified flamenco beats.
By album’s finish we have had every thing from impressionistic solo piano daubs (a component inaugurated on the earlier album) to a drone derived from a pattern of buzzing bees. However outré features however, The Clientele’s reward for the melancholy tear dropper stays eminently intact — if the hazy lost-love recollections of “Chalk Flowers” do not make you misty, you simply may be an AI fabrication. I Am Not There Anymore provides the stalwart trio a stunning new wardrobe, however the identical huge, bittersweet coronary heart retains pumping beneath.