David Ackles – American Gothic (1972)

American Gothic

American Gothic

I’d never listened to this album or artist before this playthrough.

Really enjoyed this album it has a definite feel of Jacques Brel and Kurt Weill, that feel of modernist German musicals tinged with French pop. very show-tuney.

A very melancholic album, lots of retrospection and self-exploration throughout the album, which sometimes feels like prose set to music rather than pure music.

The opening track ‘American Gothic’ really emphasises that music hall, Kurt Weill feel, especially the way it looks at the life of a downtrodden woman and her dreams.

This look at people and their often sad situations is carried throughout the album.

In ‘One Night Stand’ David Ackles sings about an itinerant singer travelling about the country falling ‘in love’ but always having to move on and wishing it wasn’t that way, really well-paced, but in the end self-indulgent and sad.

The album finishes with ‘Montana Song’ a slow, melancholic song reminiscent of American musicals. Old vs. new in the American dream, an elegy to the past and the people who made it.

The whole album is extremely theatrical in theme, vaudevillian in tempo, well worth a listen or two.

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