Sadness In The Sky
Issue no.12, 26 Feb 2000
Review by Steve Phillips
ALBUM: HORSE TAX / TITUS AND JUNO IN THE SUBURBS
Alan Lambert’s [ debut release ] is a vast and broad selection, a complex set of songs, quite complex indeed! To interpret Lambert’s recordings is I think in itself a mistake, namely because it may leave them sounding so much less effectual than they tend to be in the surrounds that we might tend to engage them in. On the whole the tracks on his debut LP are mostly dense, orchestral, frequently demanding pieces. The sound is often avant-garde, chaotically cinematic and then at times, unusually slight and sweet. Sounds are spliced together in accord and then others jut uncomfortably, jagged and withering nervously next door to one another. There are spoken segments laid across music, frequently there are ‘arrangements’ which could well be found or recorded so convincingly well that they are in fact the result of clever studio work. We should always be wary of words like ‘intriguing’ or ‘unsettling’ because in truth they are the best ways to dismiss work which reveals itself to be immediately disturbing, or even unhinged from our initial preconceptions of it. In the case of [ this release ], Alan Lambert achieves a dark and theatrical result, a ‘collection’ of tracks which distort the immediate concepts we know as ‘beautiful’, concepts Lambert takes and makes aurally sublime.