Album number nine in the 30-year career of The Verlaines, Untimely Meditations sees singer-guitarist proving yet again his position as one of New Zealand's finest songwriters.
So, what to expect from these "Untimely Meditations"? Like most Verlaines albums there are no two songs alike. But there is a theme throughout of expressing what it is to be born into this time and place. It is outspoken and confrontational.
Recorded at Albany Street Studios, Dunedin over a period of 18 months on and off, Downes assembled his core live band (Tom Healy - guitar, Darren Steadman-drums, Stephen Small -keyboards, Rob Burns -bass) along with an assortment of guest musicians to produce 10 songs that show a keen ear for a pop tune, but are not afraid to challenge.
Lyrically and musically inventive, Untimely Meditations is expansive both in sound and style as Downes orchestrates and deftly crafts post-punk, classically influenced compositions, satire and a touch of cabaret. Combined with subtle humour and Downesdrawl, these meditationsare stories that explore the personal, the political and social.
Untimely Meditations is a sound that is captivating, clever, funny and pulls no punches.
1 Born Again Idiot
2 Dark Riff
3 Diamonds & Paracetamal
4 Beauty Is The Truth
5 Pets * * *
6 James, Jimmy, Nuisance, Hemi
7 On The Patches
8 A Call From The Decades Past
9 Last Will & Testament
10 What Sound Is This?