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Bobby Conn - King for a Day

  by Andrew Carver

published: 21 / 1 / 2007

Bobby Conn - King for a Day
Label: Thrill Jockey
Format: CD


Entertaining, appealing new album from idiosyncratic singer-songwriter Bobby Conn, whose eclectic influences range from Prince to Motorhead to Sweet and the Incredible String Band

An artist with a bewildering array of influences – from Prince to Motorhead to Sweet and the Incredible String Band – Bobby Conn is a craftsman of intelligent, idiosyncratic pop whose nearest musical relations are Todd Rundgren at his quirkiest and Sparks. Conn adds violin, keyboards, brass and woodwinds to his basic guitars/bass/drums lineup to give his music a prog-pop feel – to listen to Conn is to enter a world where the punk revolution of 1976 never happened. 'Vanitas' starts the album with a mildy funky instrumental intro before kicking into crunchy guitar rock – so far nothing too unusual, but this is Bobby Conn and you know the curveball will come fast – and so they do as a choir kicks in with Latin lyrics courtesy of Eccliesiastes, and an extended acoustic outro. Jabbing glam rock chords and grooving wurlitzer make 'Sinking Ships' sound like a Rundgren outake circa 1974. Like much of his other work, 'King For A Day' is a concept album; Conn has said his subject this time is the escape from the fear and drudgery of the modern day world; but like his other work it would seem to be a curdled take on the pretensions of fame – none of the songs protagonists can muster the effort to dream about much more than returning to their home after a tour. (As his fans wouold expect, Conn’s religious obsessions reappear on 'Punch The Sky' and 'Anybody'; the former features a self-help guru offering immortality to his follower, the latter offers a cynical take on what happens to those who take him up on his offer.) All in all, 'King For A Day' is an entertaining album, provided you don’t dwell on the lyrics too much.

Track Listing:-
1 Vanitas
2 When The Money's Gone
3 King For A Day
4 A Glimpse of Paradise
5 Love Let Me Down
6 Sinking Ship
7 Twenty-One
8 Punch The Sky!
9 Anybody
10 (I'm Through With) My Ego
11 Mr. Lucky
12 Things

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Macaroni (2012)
Over the top, but stylish and eclectic latest album from Chicago-based musician and protest singer, Bobby Conn

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