Release Date: Apr 18, 2006
Record label: Koch
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
The first two Psychedelic Furs albums were post-punk pop classics, but their former frontman's solo debut is quite a departure. The melting pot of synths and guitars recalls Aphex Twin and Sigur Ros, while Butler's epic songwriting is reminiscent of Radiohead circa The Bends. With the famous nicotine rasp now mixing with an almost choirboy croon, the album takes a while to reveal its majesty and subtle tension.
Coming nearly two decades after the Psychedelic Furs began their long, slow slide into irrelevance, Richard Butler's first solo album starts very promisingly with the haunting folk-tronica of "Good Days, Bad Days," which reveals an unexpected delicacy in Butler's vocals. Singing in falsetto instead of his usual Bowie-derived croon, Butler sounds newly energized in a way the Furs' latter-day records never did, although the mixture of a full string section and a closing Hendrixian guitar solo recall the epic sweep of their best work. The rest of the album continues in the same intimate style, with "California" borrowing bits from William Blake's "Jerusalem" in the course of its emotional crescendo, and "Breathe" going for a ghostly space rock feel under Butler's unusually out-front vocals.