Nancy - The Seven Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues Music Album Reviews

Nancy - The Seven Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues Music Album Reviews
The British psych-rock provocateur pens an album-length ode to the fragile euphoria of clawing yourself back from the brink. 

Note: This review discusses self-harm and suicidal ideation.

In her 2018 poem “Hammond B3 Organ Cistern,” the lesbian poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi describes “the days I don’t want to kill myself” as “extraordinary.” She goes on to compare such fleeting moments to:
the time I said yes
to gray sneakers but then the salesman said
Wait. And there, out of the back room,
like the bakery’s first biscuits: bright-blue kicks.
Iridescent. Like a scarab! Oh, who am I kidding,
it was nothing like a scarab! It was like
bright. blue. fucking. sneakers!

The title track of British psych-rock provocateur Nancy’s 7 Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues is a surging, scuzzy ode to that “bright. blue. fucking. sneakers!” feeling. Nancy, known also as Jamie Hall, singer and guitarist in the Brighton noise-pop trio Tigercub, wants us to know how hard he had it, growing up bullied in public housing. At seven feet tall, with a predilection for wearing women’s clothing, Nancy didn’t and couldn’t fit in. “I used to think about suicide every week,” he sings, but not anymore. Now, he’s “the king of this city,” celebrating his survival with this big, brash kick in the ass of a rock record.

If you listen closely, though, you’ll hear a subtle twist in Nancy’s march from victim to victor. His anti-suicide anthem samples the melody of MGMT’s “Time to Pretend.” When he sings “I used to think about suicide every week,” he’s using the exact tune Andrew VanWyngarden deployed on “move to Paris, shoot some heroin, and fuck with the stars.” It’s a quiet but unmistakable signpost: Nancy’s hard-won happiness is, actually, the transient, illusory kind. He’s setting the stage for an album that will boomerang from grey to bright blue and back again.

Actually, a boomerang may be too simplistic; there are so many peaks and valleys on this record that the emotional arc looks like an EKG reading. Said peaks, like “Pleasure Pen” and “Leave Your Cares Behind,” are full of seductive, false cheer, like an extended party sequence in one of those British TV shows where Thatcher’s in power, everyone’s unemployed, and they’re ready to do anything, no matter how dangerous or self-destructive, to feel good for a minute. Drunkenness, debauchery, the two in combination in a moving vehicle—it’s all here, in Nancy’s lyrics, and in the delicious irony of his instrumental choices.

“Pleasure Pen,” a song about going for anything, opens with a distorted shimmer of synth that echoes “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do).” The whiff of lounge and chintz gives a nightmarish undertow to the party songs, as if Hall is admitting all this behavior is hurtful rater than helpful. He pulls off the same trick in “Leave Your Cares Behind,” rhyming “cruising on the motorway” with “might just float away” in dreamy falsetto over feisty finger-snapping and whistling, like if Mowgli and Baloo descended to hell to perform “Bare Necessities.”

Nancy pairs these ironic, winking highs with lows of great sincerity. He’s adept at wiping away the grunge and psych-rock distortion when he wants to connect. After threatening suicide on the jittery “Never Gonna Wake (Up),” he recovers with a stunning, yearning ballad: “Dear Life Give Me A Sign That I Am Not Alone.” His dark night of the soul is not over, but he can, at least, dare to ask, “Is there light within the endless dark?” Most of the album calls to mind the endearing weirdness of the Nuggets compilation, but “Dear Life” is gentler, more like a Stephin Merritt ballad.

Nancy’s got a gift for rendering the compulsively undercutting of his own happiness. “Happy Happy Happy” is a harrowing portrait of a guy who can’t keep himself from doomscrolling: “Click through to a page/Written on climate change/And it starts up all over again.” Later on, the narrator craves the chance to destroy something on his own terms. After mourning break-ups throughout the album, Nancy pivots, on “Psycho Vision,” to “looking for a wife I can divorce.” It’s a sharp line, and it’s not the only one—his humor often keeps his disturbing material from descending into the maudlin. The titular sound of “Clic Clac,” we’re told, comes from the bony feet of the Grim Reaper, creeping up when you least expect him. “Deathmarch” deploys the organ-heavy Halloween music of a Vincent Price special—or, at least, a Bill Hader impression of one—and lends some levity to the album’s heaviest contemplation of death.

This album was clearly born of a dark place. Its narrator, mired in darkness, doesn’t seem to know what enduring happiness or survival would even look like. Some listeners may enjoy and relate to Nancy’s rollicking ride through all this turmoil; others may find themselves triggered. At any rate, Nancy sounds grateful, more than anything, that he lives to fight another day. The album’s bleak points make his moments of genuine gratitude shine all the brighter. His ecstasy at waking up and deciding that, yes, he wants to go on living today—it’s palpable. If you don’t know this feeling, this anti-suicide, “then you’re lucky,” writes Gabrielle Calvocoressi, “but also you poor thing.”
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Nancy - The Seven Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues Music Album Reviews Nancy - The Seven Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on January 27, 2021 Rating: 5


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