The Magic Piper (Of Love) [#1]

by: Edwyn Collins

The title track, the great, slinky lead single from I'm Not Following You, is a delight; Collins' wit in full flower, with lounge, funk, and guitar pop all intersecting in a place only he can easily reach. Add in a flute to nicely reference the title and the result is a blast. As for the remaining tracks, two are versions of the same song "Who Is It?." The first version is a moody number with a low pulse to it, with string-synths in the background and Collins' vocals providing the light contrast to the implicit drama. It's another stylistic mélange -- and it's a winner. The second is apparently a mix job from his engineer Sebastian Lawley acting as the 'Victorian Spaceman' -- it's a radical revamp into minimal textures and shopping center samples; a nicely adventurous number. "Welwyn Garden City" closes things out, apparently being a Stereolab tribute/parody of some sort, with appropriately Kraut rock-touched rhythms and keyboards, not to mention electronically processed vocals. ~ Ned Raggett

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