Release Date: May 23, 2006
Record label: 4AD
Genre(s): Rock, Experimental, Singer-Songwriter
The Drift is like little else in music. The melodic austerity, somewhere between plainsong and operatic recitative, may shock fans of Walker's lush 1960s records but, gloriously, The Drift is a record that demands a lot of work and repays tenfold. Bleak, haunting and disturbed, there is narrative here, but it is fragmented, wrapped in allusion, and both bolstered and distorted by games played with the very shapes and sounds of words.
What does it say of Scott Walker that he can take a decade in between each album and still have a new release greeted with quasi-religious fervor and devotion? In a pop landscape dotted with "here today, gone tomorrow" artists and records, it is telling that each of his albums has the power to bring old fans back into the fold and simultaneously claim hordes of new devotees. Then again, despite the fact that he has been a professed influence on artists ranging from David Bowie to Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, there are few (if any) musicians as bold, singular, and relentlessly/restlessly creative as one Scott Walker. In the past 30 years, Walker has released but three albums, a rate of productivity that seems insanely sloth-like, especially now that certain other "experimental" artists and folk tunesmiths drop full-length CD-Rs by the season.