# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

David Kitt - Black And Red Notebook

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 18 / 11 / 2004

David Kitt - Black And Red Notebook
Label: Rough Trade
Format: CD


Patchy covers album from the much acclaimed David Kitt, which, while remaining worth listening to, also proves to be heavily flawed

A good cover must do one of two things. Either it should add something so intriguing to the song that it makes it worth listening to if you know the song in its original form. Or, the choice of songs should add something to our appreciation of the artist, for instance giving a new vehicle for their singing that their own songs can’t, or simply letting us know how good their taste is. Kathryn William’s ‘Relations’ provides a perfect ‘how to’ for anybody thinking of a covers record. Her album featured 14 varied songs, all of which worked well with her pretty voice and her band’s accompaniment. Williams described it as a “home study course in music appreciation”. Although covers often serve the performer more than the audience, ‘Relations’ allowed Kathryn Williams to rediscover her enthusiasm and allowed listeners to rediscover theirs. Unfortunately, David Kitt’s attempt at a covers album is not quite as successful. That is not to say it is a hopeless cause, but it is a little patchier. Where ‘Relations’ was an album, ‘The Black and Red Notebook’ is more of a collection, and shows off Kitt’s strengths and his weaknesses. David Kitt is an intriguing songwriter and performer at times, with a novel blend of folk stylings and electronic instrumentation. But, he is let down by a one pitch voice that sometimes tends towards the dour, and an urge for experimentation that could use an editor. Witness his cover of the beatles' 'And Your Bird Can Sing', which is not a success. He sings it poorly, although he cannot suppress such a gorgeous melody, but then drain it out with a lifeless repeating guitar riff that only reminds me how blissful the original sounded in comparison. His take on “Don’t Go Back To Rockville” turns it into electro-pop, and isn’t a disaster, but the song still sounds a lot better with Peter Buck’s jangling guitar and REM’s unique vocal approach. But, there are some triumphs. Thin Lizzy's 'Dancing In The Moonlight' manages to be marvellously moody, making an overplayed boring stomparound sound like a subtly composed classic. Anyone who has been yearning for a folk version of Sonic Youth’s ‘Teenage Riot’ can yearn no more, and the element of surprise works much better here than it does on Kitt’s attempt at REM or The Beatles. Overall, this is an album only for very keen fans of David Kitt, but whilst it is patchy, there is enough to make it worth a listen. Yet I can’t help but feel an album of new material with the same lust for variety and experimentation would have been much better.

Track Listing:-
1 Haunt Me
2 All Night Long
3 Never Stop
4 Magnolia
5 Teenage Riot
6 Dancing In the Monnlight
7 And Your Bird Can Sing
8 Going in a Field
9 Don't Go Back to Rockville
10 Pressure Drop

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors