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Others here have pointed out that this new Scott Walker isn't as "ground-breaking" or whathaveyou as his two previous studio albums and I'll not argue. If you are familiar with Tilt or The Drfit, then sonically, no, this album will not take you by great surprise the way those two likely did. What has changed here is that Walker seems to be in a playful, almost goofy mood. Bish Bosch is, in fact, very funny in a great many places.
Walker has always had a sense of humor, displayed here and there throughout his solo work, dating all the way back to his first album. But never before has he let it rip the way his does here. The album is filled with loopy and obtuse word-play, puns (both groaners and sublime), startling turns of phrase and jokes that venture all the way back to vaudeville. This is the first Scott Walker album that made me laugh out loud. (Well, maybe the sinister duck-voice in The Drift was the first, but that was a more uneasy laughter, at least the first time.) Walker is earthy, profane here, too, which is part of the fun, like an extremely well-read and thoughtful 15 year-old boy in a particularly dark, dank locker room. (Pilgrim might be more like a 10 year-old, what with the blowing up of bullfrogs with straws and all.)
In any case, this is a very satisfying new record from Walker. Not, perhaps, for the uninitiated, but then, frankly I'm not sure where to initiate someone at this point. Maybe Climate of Hunter, and then move slowly.But for those who have followed his career over a long haul, the progression from Make it Easy on Yourself to, say, Dimple, really does make sense. Just listen through. And this time, there are belly laughs to go along with the ongoing opera Walker is both composing and haunting. This is the buffa part, I think. Seems logical, given his voice, that he'd get around to an album-length patter song.
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