Album review: KEVIN GODLEY – Muscle Memory

KEVIN GODLEY – Muscle Memory




State 51 [Release date 18.12.20]

Kevin Godley is ex 10cc and was one half of a duo with Lol Creme. His first solo album, Muscle Memory, is a post modern permutation of songs largely written at his invitation by people he’s never met. You couldn’t get more pandemic than that. And, quite naturally each song keeps its distance from the last, and the next.

It’s an album of heavily programmed music and anguished complexity, hitting out at gender reform (Cut To The Cat) and gun control (Bang Bang Theory) among others.

The album’s opener, ‘Expecting A Message’ voices the slightly desperate words of the insecure, swaying to reggae rock rhythms and a loud percussive thump.

And the rest? Well, stylistically they’re all over the place. Is that a bad thing? Listening to ‘Hit The Street’, and the imagined son of Leonard Cohen fronting Roxy Music, the answer of course is No… the muffled horns, the chilly metaphors… all make great listening. It’s just that songs like ‘Ghost of The Living’ and ‘All Bones Are White’ are so dismally downbeat.

And then the nearest thing to a conventional ballad, ’5 Minutes With You’ grabs us by the collar. Its sparse ambience is undercut by percussive tics and floating piano notes, and of all the songs on Muscle Memory, this one’s story of obsession truly illustrates the dark side of Lock down psychology.

As with every track, the lyrics are fascinating. There’s more language to engage with on this recording than you’ll find on most other “born of Covid” albums on the market, put together. ***

Review by Brian McGowan

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IVORY SKIES – Bring Me Up (indie)
HONG FAUX Feign Death To Stay Alive (Golden Robot Records)
OVERLAPS Mind Over Matter (indie)
SOLE SYNDICATE – Brave Enough (Scarlet Records)
DAVID PAICH Spirit Of The Moonrise (Mascot)
JAILBIRDS The River (indie)

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