gothic.jpg

American Gothic , David Ackles

When: 3:30 p.m.ish today

Where: My home, accompanied by a fire, Jolly Roger beer, mustard (w/horseradish), and pretzels.

Why: I

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I Heard This: David Ackles' American Gothic

gothic.jpg

American Gothic, David Ackles

When: 3:30 p.m.ish today

Where: My home, accompanied by a fire, Jolly Roger beer, mustard (w/horseradish), and pretzels.

Why: I found it at Goodwill today for a buck.

Thoughts: I'm intrigued by this album, but certainly not sold. It's still hard to tell if this is an under-appreciated gem or a bloated piece of '70s-pop waste. Or both.

Here Ackles uses orchestration as if he were working for Hanna-Barbera. His lyrics, meanwhile are as theatrical/nonsensical as anything to come from the album's producer, Bernie "Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids" Taupin, or Neil "Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies" Diamond.

According to Stephen Holden's 1972 review of the record in Rolling Stone, I'm wrong ... and right:

It has almost no relation to rock & roll and a lot more to do with musical theater...The musical materials of the album are brilliantly eclectic and ordered with such formal precision as to warrant concert hall production of the song cycle just as it is on record.

Sample Lyrics: From the album's title track:

So, as he snuggles down to his reading

In a half-filled marriage bed,

he's so ashamed of what he's reading

that he gets blind drunk instead.

 
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