This one will be short and not so sweet.
Natasha Khan aka Bat For Lashes has released her fifth album, Lost Girls. The sonic aesthetic for the album is American 80’s music and movies. Think Don’t You Forget About Me. Think Lost Boys. Think The Karate Kid.
Here’s my fundamental problem. I couldn’t stand that music and those movies back in the day. Slick, glossy, revelling in their lack of soul – growing up in the Black Country, it was a set of values that I couldn’t get my head around.
Forty years later and I’m no nearer to doing so. I get the skill involved in the Robert E Smith guitars and gated reverb of Vampires or the arpeggiating electric piano on the closing Mountains. I understand that it might sound fresh or inventive for people who aren’t of my relatively advanced years. It just sounds middle of the road, maybe middle of Mulholland Drive.
But it doesn’t enrich my soul. It is vapid and doesn’t resonate in the slightest with me. It is Beverley Hills 90210. Of all of the places that I’ve visited in the States, LA was the most non-descript (and this is coming from a man who has spent a long weekend in Washington DC). If I’m going to venture into the City of Lights, then it will be into Harry Bosch’s world.
Lost Girls reminds me of sitting in the Red Lion in Sedgley with endless repeats of Berlin’s Take My Breath Away on the new-fangled video jukebox, macho men bouncing around playing volleyball (on the video, of course, the mock Tudor beams would have got in the way if you were punting a ball around in the pub). Waiting joylessly for the Bat Out of Hell video to be played for 7th time each night, hoping for Big Alex’s Criticize to make an appearance.
Tiny Tom C in his aviators.
As if Kelly McGillis would have given him a second glance.