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Songs from Another Season

David J

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Album Review

With Love and Rockets on hiatus and the unexpected backing of RCA thanks to that group's fluke 1989 success, David J was able to realize the first stateside release of a solo album, his attractive and quite under-rated Songs From Another Season. Recruiting old Jazz Butcher/early solo assistants Alex Green and Max Eider, among others (including Janis Zakis, a mate from his pre-Bauhaus days, for a guest spot on accordion), he delivered a set of reflective, softly passionate songs touching on everything from his newfound success to the ups and downs of love. The aggressive, heavily produced semi-industrial edge of then-recent Love and Rockets is noticeably absent outside of the clattering "On the Outskirts (Of a Strange Dream)," as is the earlier dreamy psych of that band. Instead Songs favors primarily acoustic performances with a bluesy tinge noticeable throughout. Starting with the demi-alternative radio hit "I'll Be Your Chauffeur," a sweet, folky number that also appears later in a drumless alternate take, Songs makes for great late-night music where the mood isn't always sleepy. J plays a number of tracks strictly solo, tackling everything from saw to "finger taps," while those songs with accompaniment demonstrate his good taste in selecting side performers who know exactly what to contribute where. His lyrics continue the thread of sometimes cryptic but often very poetic portraits of situations and people, often with his sly wit intact, as the fashion designer-referencing "New Woman Is an Attitude" shows. The most affecting track is doubtless "Stranded Trans-Atlantic Hotel Nearly Famous Blues"; there may have been plenty of on-the-road songs in rock before, but his savagely funny and melancholic effort here is one of the best. It all concludes with a lovely version of the old Eden Ahbez/Nat King Cole standard "Nature Boy," with one last the-bar-is-closing touch of atmosphere.

Biography

Born: April 24, 1957 in Northampton, England

Genre: Alternative

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

David J (b. David J. Haskins), the bassist/vocalist for the seminal gothic rock band Bauhaus, launched a solo career in 1983, just as Bauhaus folded. His first solo album, Etiquette of Violence, didn't gather much attention, and he began working with the Jazz Butcher. After releasing two albums (Sex and Travel and A Scandal in Bohemia) with the cult musician, David J recorded his second solo album, Crocodile Tears and the Velvet Cosh (1985). Soon afterwards, J and his Bauhaus cohorts, Daniel Ash...
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Songs from Another Season, David J
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