Friday, June 10, 2016

The Apartments - Apart

The Apartments' fourth album, released in 1997, is introduced by the 30 sec piano of Doll Hospial, giving way to the brooding strings that introduce No Hurry, which is taken over by a late 80s style trip-hoppy beat after the first few bars.  It's a pity as Peter Milton Walsh sings as well as he has ever done, making "the days are getting looonnnger" sound kind of ominous.  But the beats don't suit the track, and so it follows across the album.  The chirpy strings, brass and beats of Breakdown In Vera Cruz are way more upbeat than a song entitled as such has any right to be.

The murky Welcome To Walsh World is a welcome change (down) of pace.  Walsh recites a squalid tale of "infatuation, sadism, lust, avarice possess our souls" over brooding, Tindersticks style music, augmented by strings here and there and (mercifully) no beats!  It doesn't quite work, though it's a distinct improvement on what went before.  File under glorious failure?

The rest of the album is, unfortunately, not helped by its production, Friday Rich/Saturday Poor and Cheerleader being a case in point.  World of Liars is more relaxed, dancing around classic soul tune Walk On By while maintaining its independence.  Final track Everything Is Given To Be Taken Away returns the band to their more natural, effortless state, the sound of waking up in the morning and wishing you hadn't.  

Probably the least essential of the Apartments' albums, something of a misstep.