Dance of De­fi­ance

Exclaim! - - REVIEWS - ADAM FEIBEL RYAN B. PA­TRICK TOM BEEDHAM BRYON HAYES

Work­ing Class Woman

Af­ter re­group­ing from a year of tour­ing, iron­i­cally prompted by 2016’s Adieux Au Dance­floor, Mon­treal synth/spo­ken word artist Marie David­son has emerged with an al­bum that de­fies the en­tire life­style that break­through dropped on her. While Adieux Au Dance­floor

took in­spi­ra­tion from du­elling fas­ci­na­tion and dis­gust with nightlife, Work­ing Class Woman con­nects the dots be­tween when the party ends and when the next one be­gins, with a se­ries of vi­gnettes that prob­lema­tize the grind, shed­ding light on the te­dium of it all. Kick­ing off with blankly read in­ter­pre­ta­tions of all the pun­ish­ing post-set in­ter­ac­tions you can imag­ine on “Your Big­gest Fan,” with a clever ges­ture of jux­ta­po­si­tion, David­son moves from the chore of in­ter­fac­ing with poseurs to “Work It,” a track im­me­di­ately rem­i­nis­cent of Adieux Au Dance­floor opener “Ded­i­cate My Life.” While Adieux Au Dance­floor used dance mu­sic as a ve­hi­cle for crit­i­cism, Work­ing Class Woman of­ten takes more ab­stract turns to em­pha­size how greatly the glam­our has been ex­ag­ger­ated. That David­son piv­ots to these more ab­stract forms of com­po­si­tion to con­vey the ma­te­rial may, on first lis­ten, seem like a for­feit to con­tent, but that she is will­ing to chal­lenge her au­di­ences (es­pe­cially the new ones) in spite of the club’s stamp of ap­proval might be even more trans­gres­sive than smug­gling her cri­tiques into tracks sculpted for the dance floor. (Ninja Tune)

This record ex­plores worka­holism from sev­eral an­gles. Is that some­thing you iden­tify with?

Yes, for sure. I’ve been a worka­holic for the last five years of my life. It’s al­most patho­log­i­cal. Back when I started tour­ing, I was re­ally ex­cited to travel and hear these amaz­ing live sets in other parts of the world.

to vet­eran pro­ducer John Good­man­son for mak­ing one of the best-sound­ing rock records in re­cent mem­ory. Mas­ter Vol­ume wields high-oc­tane riffs that are di­alled in per­fectly, and dy­namo Luke Ben­tham steals the show with his daz­zling vo­cal chops. Peo­ple don’t need an­other think­piece ask­ing, “Is rock dead?” We just need to sit back and en­joy it when a band puts out a record as big and fun as Mas­ter Vol­ume. (Dine Alone, dinealonere­cords.com) REG­GAE

Marie David­son

ELEC­TRONIC When I went to Europe the first time and dis­cov­ered how rich the club cul­ture is there, I kind of went crazy. I wanted to see it all, try it all. But I don’t feel like that any­more. I’ve lived it. There are so many other things that I want to ex­plore.

Was mak­ing this record harder than pre­vi­ous records?

No. It’s weird, but it was eas­ier. I did this record for my­self, and maybe for a cou­ple of other peo­ple, but def­i­nitely not for the me­dia or crit­ics. Not even for my fans. I hope my fans like it, but if they don’t, that’s okay. I’ll make new fans. And I’m to­tally aware of that with this record; it’s a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent. It’s the same themes and the same style of mu­sic, but pro­duc­tion is dif­fer­ent, and I’m ex­plor­ing other hori­zons. I’m sure I will lose some fans, but that’s to­tally fine.

Like Ours”) and Chronixx (on al­bum stand­out “Queen”). Lovers Rock is the story of both Estelle’s re­spect for reg­gae, soca and Afrobeat sounds and an en­dur­ing love story of her par­ents, who split when she was young only to re­con­nect and re­marry years later. With only a few weak spots, the solid Lovers Rock is a tes­ta­ment to Estelle’s ta­lent and ca­reer dura­bil­ity while pay­ing homage to a genre that has with­stood the test of time. ( VP Records) MOD­ERN COM­PO­SI­TION spa­cious­ness presents it­self. Strings are the im­me­di­ate fo­cal point here, as or­na­men­tal plucked tones and sear­ing bowed scrapes are sent cas­cad­ing across smeared synth melodies and roar­ing waves of gran­u­lar noise. A frayed, al­most in­dus­trial at­mos­phere hov­ers around “Keyed Out” un­til a se­ries of barely touched ga­gaku em­a­na­tions storm into fo­cus, cap­ti­vat­ing the lis­tener. The lengthy and dev­as­tat­ingly loud “Across to Anoyo” closes out the pro­ceed­ings with a thun­der­ous ma­nia that stands apart from the al­most cer­e­mo­nial na­ture of the pre­ced­ing ma­te­rial. A dream­like song cy­cle, the al­bum is more than an ex­ten­sion of the grandeur of Love Streams. It’s a re­fined, fo­cused ex­plo­ration of tra­di­tions both ad­hered to and tran­scended. (Kranky www.kranky.net) PUNK

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