Friday, December 9, 2011

King Creosote Finally Comes To The States

To say King Creosote (aka Kenny Anderson) is a prolific songwriter would be the understatement of the 21st century. Having written and released forty albums, there's not a day that doesn't go by that the King isn't working on music. Amazingly, for someone who has released forty records in his native UK (he's a resident of Fife, Scotland) he's never, ever released anything here in the US. Well, thanks to the fine folks at Domino Records he has now. Entitled Thrawn, this introductory album pieces together a condensed version of his works so you get an aural idea of where The King is coming from.

Taking the singer/songwriter template and turning it upside down, King Creosote fuses traditional Scottish folk with acoustic instrumentation, rockabilly, indie, and minimalism to come up with something that sounds ancient and yet modern. Kenny's voice warbles its way along the twelve tracks here that cover a six year time span form 2003-2006. At his best, he's upbeat and like a Highlands troubadour and at his worst he's a sad lonely Scotsman trapped in Fife on cold, rainy, and grey days. The great thing about him though, is that no matter how you cut it, his songs are still good. While I normally despise singer/songwriters I couldn't help but like King Creosote’s confused take on the genre. Thrawn is the sound of cold winters and warm summer sun, it's the sound of hope and fear, the sound of tradition and carving a new path and I think that's why this is a fantastic introduction to the world of Kenny Anderson. While I've never heard all of his work, what I have on import I've always enjoyed even as he's become more commercially acceptable.

King Creosote is one folky it's cool to like. His eclectic taste, strange approach, and intimately rustic and beautiful songs are what make him a star...or as much of a star as someone who comes from Fife and writes folk music can hope to be. One gets the sense though, that this is all ok with Kenny Anderson because it's not like he needs the attention, he does have FORTY albums under his belt.

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