Jesse Jarnow

“some clouds don’t” – fred frith

“Some Clouds Don’t” – Fred Frith (download here)
from Cheap at Half the Price (1983)
released by East Side Digital
reissued by ReR Megacorp/Fred Records (2004) (buy)

(file will expire on April 12th.)

Matt turned me onto avant-guitarist Fred Frith’s frickin’ fantastic Cheap at Half the Price several years back. I finally got my own unscratched copy in today’s post. It’d be cheap (at less than half the price) to compare the disc-opening “Some Clouds Don’t” to Brian Eno’s ’70s pop excursions (to which Frith himself contributed)… but I think I just did anyway. Like those albums, Cheap is a rare trip into vocal-based music. Frith’s ragged voice, lo-fi complexity, and tweeting keyboards are all cheekily charming. The harmonies are nice, and there’s something willfully naïve about the lead guitar playing that I like (especially coming from somebody as nimble as Frith). The whole album — recorded on a four-track with Frith playing most of the instruments and assembling all of the sound collages — is extraordinarily personable.


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