Monday, March 19, 2012

Album Review: Television

The art of imitation in music is a curious thing. New York band Television took a degree of influence from The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed in the mid 70s. Ten years later, Lloyd Cole (plus Commotions) bore a fair amount of influence from Tom Verlaine's band. Fast forward to 1992 for Television's third album, their first in 14 years, and the influence comes full circle. For this album sounds like Lou Reed, Lloyd Cole and, yes, Television in a blender.

Yes, Verlaine and Richard Lloyd's guitars have really clean, melodic tone to them. Yes, Verlaine pulls off that effortless NY drawl, well, effortlessly. unfortunately the songs are unremarkable. Opening track 1880 or so sets a tone of sorts, all chiming guitars carried through subsequent tracks like In World and No Glamor for Willi. By the final track Mars, Verlaine tries a desperate howling vocal but this doesn't convince any more than previous material. There's not much to criticise here but there's a lack of thrills that technical fret play can't compensate for. So not the new Marquee Moon then.