10 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A British arts council funded the recording of this diverse, strange collection of songs based on the Biblical plagues that occur in the book of Exodus from the Old Testament. It's largely an NPR-friendly assortment performing here: Rufus Wainwright, Cody Chestnutt, Robert Wyatt, Scott Walker, Brian Eno, Stephin Merritt, Laurie Anderson, and a few others. If you remember from Sunday school classes, there are ten plagues, and they're here in order: the flies and then the boils, and of course the raining frogs, and then worse. The acts appear to have been allowed to record whatever they wanted so long as it fit their assigned plague. And while one may miss the hand of a producer such as Hal Willner to give the effort a more even keel in terms of production, several songs definitely stand out. British rapper Kleshnikoff's doom and gloom hip-hop track "Blood" is excellent, while singer-songwriter Scott Walker's intense entry, "Darkness," is one of the spookiest, loudest, and downright gnarliest songs you'll hear this year. Brian Eno teams back up with Robert Wyatt for the lovely if a tad disgusting "Flies," and Rufus Wainwright makes his contribution a plaintive, personal eulogy to a friend who passed away.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A British arts council funded the recording of this diverse, strange collection of songs based on the Biblical plagues that occur in the book of Exodus from the Old Testament. It's largely an NPR-friendly assortment performing here: Rufus Wainwright, Cody Chestnutt, Robert Wyatt, Scott Walker, Brian Eno, Stephin Merritt, Laurie Anderson, and a few others. If you remember from Sunday school classes, there are ten plagues, and they're here in order: the flies and then the boils, and of course the raining frogs, and then worse. The acts appear to have been allowed to record whatever they wanted so long as it fit their assigned plague. And while one may miss the hand of a producer such as Hal Willner to give the effort a more even keel in terms of production, several songs definitely stand out. British rapper Kleshnikoff's doom and gloom hip-hop track "Blood" is excellent, while singer-songwriter Scott Walker's intense entry, "Darkness," is one of the spookiest, loudest, and downright gnarliest songs you'll hear this year. Brian Eno teams back up with Robert Wyatt for the lovely if a tad disgusting "Flies," and Rufus Wainwright makes his contribution a plaintive, personal eulogy to a friend who passed away.

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