Monday, May 24, 2010

Thomas Dolby's New Music

This is the best news I've had all week: one of the most innovative, brilliant, complex, and inspirational artists of the past few decades is making a new album. Thomas Dolby.

Dolby is one of those recording artists who is a master of styles. His ideas about music have always been original, and he's always been on the bleeding edge of technology. He still is, as this TED video demonstrates.

One of the things about Dolby that I've always liked, musically, is his ability to seamlessly blend styles or music that no one else would think to blend, that most would consider impossible to blend. It's sort of a speciality of his, actually. For example, a song like "I Love You Goodbye," blends torch-song balladry with Cajun zydeco music. Of course everyone has heard "She Blinded Me With Science," or seen the classic video: a blend of mad-scientist tropes with pop love-song tropes. I tend to think of Dolby as an anthropologist from Mars, who approaches everything objectively, without presupposition or prejudice or preconception. This makes him incredibly open-minded and flexible. These are attitudes any musician would do well to emulate.

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Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

He's not someone I've followed since he topped the charts back in the 1980s. No reason. He's just never appeared on my radar whereas others, like John Foxx, have. The video was pleasant enough. I could see any of the Rat Pack covering it if they were still around although I'm not sure any of them would've been backed by such a small ensemble.

12:32 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Well, he's often below most people's radar, even when he charts with a hit. And for the past few years he's been focused on other things. I think this is his first album in like 12 years or so.

1:08 AM  

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