Wednesday, June 15, 2011

John Grant - Queen of Denmark

Today is spin the iPod click wheel day and this is what turned up, John Grant's Queen of Denmark. Acquired after reading about it in countless 2010 best album end of the year lists. Six months later, I'm finally listening to the complete album.

It starts perfectly safe with an acoustic guitar riff meandering through the first song but it's track 2, the piano-led "Marz" that takes you to uncharted territory. It kind of sounds like "Mad World" by Tears For Fears but it's more lively, with Grant listing several sweetings and leading up to magnificent chorus.

A song called Sigourney Weaver is next and it features the lines:

And I feel just like Sigourney Weaver
When she had to kill those aliens
And one guy tried to get them back to the earth
And she couldn't believe her ears

Which is so ballsy, just using a scene from a movie to explain how one feels in a song. We do it in real life all the time and here John Grant finally puts it in a song and it totally works.

The Silver Platter Club is a fun little jaunty tune about those raised with a silver platter. Kind of reminds me of the Kinks.

JC Hates Faggots is one hell of an It Gets Better message aiming at those hurt by bigotry against gays, as well as those who hurt them. It's followed by Caramel, a piano-led love song about another man. The title track is a heavy rant, roughed up by electric guitars and a menacing tone.

I like the album, it's definitely something I haven't heard before. Grant's lyrics are fearless, honest and inventive. The music, performed by folk rock band Midlake, is great - an earthy and subtle kind of pop accompaniment. I'm only sorry I didn't listen to this earlier this year.

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