John Watts - Bigbeatpoetry
However, I feel that John Watts was still struggling to reconcile his conflicting desires to follow a musical direction which would take him towards a more experimental and varied path in following his musical direction, and his innate desire to rock the socks off you. The overall result is therefore a disappointment in comparison with other albums by John Watts. He even changed the name he used on the album, dropping the "John". No idea why. Perhaps he wanted to put some distance between himself and this album to see if there was a different reaction to it.
There is much greater use of what I will call sound effects and production techniques on this album. The immediate thing which stands out is the occasional rapping. Now, as a general rule, I do not like rap and was seriously disappointed when John Watts decided to use this album as a chance to experiment with such an inappropriate musical style. It brings nothing to the table and adds nothing to the songs. However, if there is a positive to this, it is to the man's credit that he is prepared to innovate and experiment, even if the result is somewhat less than appealing.
Among the best tracks are "Karmasandra", a dig at the metropolitan "it" girl attitude of the Sloan Rangers. "I Am not a Radio" is perhaps another dig, this time at the mainstream music and its soulless destruction of creativity and innovation in the endless pursuit of money. "Positive Voodoo" has a nice looping feel to it, particularly in the keyboard sections, though the rare, acoustic version of this which I managed to find on a torrent one day is, in my view, a far superior version. Finally, "Walking the Doberman" takes an askance look at those who view life behind the protective barrier of a large dog. The immediately noticeable feature of all three tracks is the quality of the lyrics - John Watts would not be John Watts without these insightful and clever observations.
In terms of where this fits in with the overall John Watts canon, this was really the penultimate occasion John would be in this phase. His next work would begin to move back to a more organic style of music making - begin with the lyric and build the song around that - rather than start with a tune and see what you could fiddle with to make it sound different. Although he retained the big beat approach, to a certain extent with his next album, as Fischer-Z, the precepts on which the music was formulated would begin to change. That approach was to be a definite improvement.
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