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The Invisible Man

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Album Review

A superstar who took five years to follow up an album that, in turn, had been his first in six years would be matching the marketplace these days, but for a guy like Don Dixon, such a schedule indicates either a casual attitude toward his solo career or trouble interesting a record company in releasing his discs. Vermont indie Gadfly has taken on The Invisible Man, which may be the quirkiest release yet from a notably quirky artist. "This record is about mortality & redemption," Dixon notes in the CD booklet. "Many different characters appear as singers... I am none of them & all of them." He then helpfully lists the ages of the characters by song. The problem of appreciating Dixon's concept is immediately apparent. While one can expect, and find, a distinction in the authorial voice by very different ages, most of the characters fall into middle age, a period that certainly has its stages, but not ones as clearly defined. This is some hint to the general obscurity of the album's lyrics. While titles like "Tax the Churches" and "Digging a Grave" seem to announce their subjects right off, they don't turn out to be that clear. And not all the songs are all that musically accessible. The Invisible Man is an often puzzling album created almost single-handedly by a highly individual singer-songwriter who has made some attempts to create commercial music in the past, but this time seems to have followed his muse without much concern about whether anyone would be able to follow him.


Born: 13 December 1950

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Best known among the key producers to emerge from the American underground's jangle pop movement of the early '80s, Don Dixon also enjoyed a cult following as a solo performer. A native of North Carolina, he dwelled in relative obscurity for well over a decade as a member of the little-known Arrogance before attracting his first significant notice around 1983 after co-producing with Mitch Easter R.E.M.'s landmark debut LP, Murmur. Subsequent work on Chris Stamey's It's a Wonderful Life, the Windbreakers'...
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The Invisible Man, Don Dixon
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