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Scott Walker - Tilt
Label: Drag City
Release: 1995

Farmer In The City
The Cockfighter
Bouncer See Bouncer
Face on Breast
Patriot (A Single)
Tilt - Scott Walker
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Average Blamo User Rating: (13 votes)

"Tilt" is a strange one. A very strange one. Forget the grandiose orchestral arrangements, takes on Jacques Brel and stately upper-class that made up the majority of Monsieur Walker's output - if this is all that you remember Scott for, then it's probably best that you stop reading this review and pretend that this record never even came out.

Melodies? Pah. If I was rating this album based purely on melody, then it would probably get a 1. Melodies do not exist on here at all. And aside from the slightest orchestral arrangements on "Patriot", there's little to speak of in terms of big, massive orchestral landscapes that populated Walker classics like "It's Raining Today". This record is populated by electronic beats, monotonous drum patterns and occasional blasts of white noise. Hardly easy-listening.

The way i'm describing this record at the current moment, you probably think that i'm talking about a record that's either an easy-listening man's 20 years-too-late answer to Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music", or a record that would have a serious fight with Genesis's "Calling All Stations" for the worst album ever recorded. Nothing could be furtherfrom the truth - despite the complete lack of the melodies and the titanic voice that made Scotty famous, this record actually works.

Walker can, at least, still sing. Although now, his famous, bright voice has been replaced by an old man's moan, withonly the slightest hint of his former voice remaining. His voice has certainly degraded majorly, but his voice still hassomething here at least. And the song's work too - despite the often minimalistic arrangements and huge lengths, stuff like the aforementioned "Patriot", a minimalistic eight-minute workout, works well. And the sudden blasts of white noisethat populate "The Cockfighter" and the pulsating backbeat of "Face on Breast" are also excellent. Also, the title trackhas a sudden, excellent "chorus" line to add to the dark rhythms. I'm sorry if my review sounds monotonous - it's just that this album is kind of difficult to describe. Probably best to find out for yourself.

So yeah, it's good. It's excellent, in fact. It's hard to say exactly why it gets the 8, seeing as it's utterly devoidof melody, or even proper songs - the exact things which made Walker's name. It just works. Of course, if you rememberWalker mainly by his works with his brother, his takes on Jacques Brel, and you're generally a big fan of easy listening ingeneral, you should probably just avoid this record like the plague. However, it's worth checking out. It's a record you'll either really enjoy or consign to record hell, sharing beds with Genesis's "Calling All Stations" and Rush's "GraceUnder Pressure". Either way, it's an interesting one.

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