Posted by: markfender | April 17, 2013

Headphone Diaries – February 12, 1991

Let’s get gothy…

Daniel-Ash-Coming-Down-232123Daniel Ash
Coming Down

Daniel Ash was in that one band you may have heard of – Bauhaus. There was also that primarily ’80s band Love & Rockets. And his various other side projects, solo records, and everything else. In other words, he’s prolific. And yet, it all sorta sounds the same to me. His solo stuff is more rock-influenced than his gothier Love & Rockets stuff, but it all tends to involve the same instrumentation and breathy singing.

As far as his solo career goes, I’m not a big fan of this particular album. There are some decent songs (“Coming Down Fast” is a decent track) but overall, the thing feels moody and weightless, kind of like latter day Love & Rockets.

I’m more a fan of the straight-up rock of ’92’s Foolish Thing Desire (which is an incredibly awesome album name). And “Higher Than This” has always freaked me out a little bit. But I don’t think it aged well at all. I think it’s the combination of his vocals with the guitar that doesn’t work for me anymore. Listening to old Love & Rockets albums, I’m always excited about the song until he starts singing. And it really doesn’t work on his more rock-out tracks. In fact, his whole 2002 self-titled album felt like a giant misstep in the singing department (even though I’m a fan of the instrumentation).

I hate to say he should have stayed with Peter Murphy (cuz I’m not always a fan of him either), but maybe Bauhaus should have lasted longer. Or maybe it’s just time to recognize that “So Alive” is a weird fluke of a song and will never be equaled.

Did it age well? It sounds exactly like what Love & Rockets sounded like. And that was in the ’80s.

Should this go on your iPod? There is certainly a place for a sort of Daniel Ash career retrospective playlist, but that feels like a lot of work that I don’t want to do. So maybe not.

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