Oh yes. Like that. Right there! You finally did it, Brian. You hot bitch. You kindly leopard. You raspberry clitoris and marmalade dick sonuvabitch. Those hairy legs and thick face are sweating out the slippery notes and taut melodies that set my knees a popping and perks my nips. You finally made the fucking album I was waiting for you to make. Goddamn it, Brian. Great fucking job.
Is this album easy to predict? No. Instrumentally it shifts hard. But it doesn’t ride that clutch or grind gears. Shit is smooth as silk. This is late-Bowie, Prince, Beach Boys, Flaming Lips, and Wilco alongside a plain-spoken tongue cheek honesty smelling slightly of Stephin Merritt or John Grant. This is that kind of shit where pop becomes art. It’s where Brian Wilson would have gone if his wits’ve never left him. It’s what Harry Nilsson would’ve done if he hadn’t ripped his vocal chords, was sober at some point, and happened to be 30-40 something in 2020. This is beautifully crafted. Every second is produced to perfection. It’s slightly seasoned medium-rare high-grade singer-songwriter.
“But Brightly,” you ask, “who gives a shit how it looks when its got the IQ of 4, the wits of damp sponge, and the humour of a government official at a business luncheon?”
Well, you’re in luck, motherfucker. Cause alongside this sick production, ballsy style, and technical precise instrumentation you’ve got bleeding-edge wrist-cutting heart-pouring, “here’s my soul you greedy piece of shit!” lyricism that’s simply sopping with honesty and humour. This album is about Brian’s newly diagnosed, but not newly discovered, mental illness and the loss of his father. So get ready for an honesty bath. The stinging means it’s working. “I woke up in a Nando’s car park dressed in a banana suit, this wouldn’t bother me so much if I owed a banana suit,” is one of the lyrics that show the humour and honesty of these tracks. “I’ve had my indicator on since leaving Crewe, that explains the gestures in my rear view,” displays the album’s dazed state of affairs with the world. Track two starts with Brian delivering a punchline to a joke that we haven’t heard to a laughing crowd, “See, that’s why I don’t care about being accessible anymore.” Brian has built something to be appreciated. Though the humour is entertaining, it’s a coping mechanism. Amongst a thick production on the track, “Ghosthunting” Brian’s wistful falsetto sings, “At the funeral my cousin he asked me in small talk, ‘Are you making the people dance?’ I said, ‘sure.’ But to myself, ‘Who does he think I am, Tame Impala?'”
This album is deeply funny and deeply sad. Ya, shit can be both somethings. But only when it’s performed by an absolute master. You fucking did it, Brian. Bravo.