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54 Days At Sea

Chris Bailey

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54 Days at Sea is another super-solid outing that plays to Chris Bailey's strengths: superior song-construction, a booming, blues-soaked voice tempered by 20 years of punk and post-punk rock 'n' roll singing, and fluid, flowery, yet to-the-point simple arrangements with help from eight other musicians (including unobtrusive touches of flute, clarinet, and piano that add flavoring). Like Savage Entertainment, 54 Days starts OK, then catches a wind 1/3 of the way through and begins to dazzle. Few people can handle a nicer array of rock 'n' roll styles better, more maturely, and long before the deeply-upset couplet "Vampyres" and "Lazarus" turn this album around to the horror of the inner mind, a breezy set of tunes has already been belied by Bailey's ability to capture shaky ground in words. One wonders if the breakup of his marriage didn't inspire a lot of the torment that's more or less smothered in introspection here. In "Vampyres," he sings "The vampyres of my imagination have sucked my body dry...It's a shame that you and I/Are no longer eye to eye," and you know it hurts him more than he lets on, as "Lazarus" confirms: "And I know life is a fragile thing/Sometimes it's hard just to carry on/It's one of those Lazarus, raise me from this mortal dust." One after another, such bitterly ironic, gulping choruses pile on another, and the effect is quietly pulverizing. By the time the two best tracks, "Nothing's as it Seems" and "In the Desert" cap off this powerfully quiescent LP of coming to grips with severe disappointment, Bailey has pulled the listener into his emotional-warfare sensibility completely, without the whiskey-soaked lamentations that highlighted his later Saints work. Another powerful work from Australia's greatest artist, living or dead.


Genre: Rock

Jaren actief: '80s, '90s

Australian singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Bailey is the leader of punk rock/alternative band the Saints. He made his first solo album, Casablanca, for the French New Rose label in 1983 and his second, What We Did on Our Holidays, in 1984.Throughout the '90s, he recorded for labels like Mushroom and Last Call (a...
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54 Days At Sea, Chris Bailey
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