Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Real Tuesday Weld Has Read The London Book of the Dead

When you think of theatrical themed pop, The Real Tuesday Weld should be the first name you think of. Throughout the illustrious career of Stephen Coates, he's quietly perfected his crooning style of pop that while electronically based, harks back to the days when people could actually sing and there were bands to back the big voices up. He's a fascinating talent and writes some of the classiest indie pop you are likely to hear and when you add to that the fact you can dance to his tunes it's even more impressive.

While The Real Tuesday Weld released an album last year entitled, The End Of The World, for some strange reason 2007's The London Book Of The Dead has recently come across my desk. Is this a reissue?  Or am I safe in assuming that we here in the US are about two albums behind and that The London Book Of The Dead was previously only available on import. Regardless of the reason, at least we get to hear this record in some form instead of having to hunt it down online.

Anyway, The London Book Of The Dead is probably the most theatrical of all RTW's work to date. In fact, the album sounds as if it were part cabaret and part Klezmer; it's loungey, swinging, orchestrated, and frivolous in it's nature. It's fun stuff that will make you reach for you top hat and cane. Songs like "Kix," illustrate this point perfectly as RTW borrows from the classic, "I Get My Out of You," and loops it into a folksy waltzy big band tune. It's an alluring and fetching moment that hints at why The London Book Of The Dead is such an enjoyable listen.

To be honest, much of The London Book Of The Dead is superbly enjoyable. It's combination of kitsch and theatrics make the album a real treat to listen to. This is a campy, orchestral, lush record that's like a waltz back in time. From the piano ballad, "Into the Trees," and the lazy horns of, "Bringing the Body Back Home," to the orchestrated under water sounds of, "Blood Sugar Love," The London Book Of The Dead is like going to see the strangest but coolest musical you've ever seen.  It's one show you don't want to miss.

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