Tuesday 12 March 2013

Review: Joe Black - 'Satan In A Sunday Hat'

'Satan In A Sunday Hat' 

The aptly titled "king of cabaret noir" Joe Black is due to release his fourth album in April. With help from a very successful fundraising campaign 'Satan In A Sunday Hat' is a collection of original songs and well known covers, many of which feature guest vocalists.

The album is structured like a radio show with various 'djs' - including Voltaire and The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing's Andrew O'Neill - talking in between spooky cabaret-style tracks. The production is stripped back giving an old fashioned, creepy sound with use of unusual instruments (ukulele, kazoo, toy piano etc.) helping to unnerve the listener. 

Covering all his favourite topics - drinking gin, love and murder, going to hell - Black screeches and cackles his way through the eleven songs. Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' gets a melancholic makeover and the classic 'You Are My Sunshine' is somehow made into a dirge when put through Black's creative mind.

With his reputation and vaudeville goth-darling aesthetic complementing his music perfectly the album is sure to be a success, but something of his magic is lost when heard on recording rather than witnessing his spectacle live on stage, as is probably true of all cabaret acts.

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