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Location: Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Kevin Blechdom Puzzle

I've been told it's just a break-up album, but that's not doing it for me. It's so...weird. And lots of the music I listen to, I suppose, is weird in one way or another, but with Blechdom it's a little different. The problem (or joy for some, maybe, but problem for me in figuring out how to rate it on my 1-5 scale) is that I can't tell if the album is deranged Broadway-inspired ramblings (Wesley Willis as Sondheim with MIDI) or artful presentation of deliberately over-the-top performance.

The issue, of course, is: do I need to know/feel where KB is coming from to talk about the album? Aren't I supposed to receive the text on its own merits?

Well, yes and no (I thought I'd always say yes to these questions). On my first and only listen so far, I found myself cut off from signifying moorings. I couldn't tell what grounds I was supposed to receive this one on. Theory-trained auteurism, ironic anti-hipsterism, Romantic self-divulgence? It's my failing, and not the album's or the artist's, that leads me to this spot of indecision.

But simply put: bizarre-good or bizarre-bizarre?