Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Flex

Flex
Lene Lovich (pronounced Lay-na Luv-itch) proud owner of a high-pitched, shrieky voice, spooky wide-eyed stare and general oddball appearance -- was born in Detroit in 1949 to a Yugoslav father and an English mother. She moved to England with her mother when she was 13, then ran away from home two years later. In 1979 Lene Lovich released the single Lucky Number on Stiff records and some say helped usher in the age of new wave music. This could be looked at as a good or bad thing, depending on your feelings about new waveish music. Of course there was good new wave and bad new wave, just like every other form of music. Lene was certainly an odd bird. Arty, flamboyant and assertive. You either dug her banshee-howl-inflected vocals or you hated it. For three year's she was one of Stiff's brightest stars but as new wave declined in the mid eighties so did Lene Lovich.

Flex was Lene Lovich's 1979 second album with an unusual album cover photo of Lovich that was taken inside a stainless steel fermentation tank at a Guinness brewery, after it had been emptied prior to cleaning. Flex is best listened to as a companion piece to her stunning debut album, Stateless. A couple of the songs here were actually outtakes from her debut album. The debut was so unique and vibrant that even though Flex was packed with another handful of brilliantly composed songs, it's biggest drawback is that it suffers somewhat from Lovich's own success relegating her to the realms of novelty acts -- at least as far as the mainstream was concerned. The octave-scaling "Bird Song," released some months ahead of the album, should have been a smash, but failed to live up to expectations. Curious. The album still sounds fresh today at the same time conjuring up early 80's new wave.

Angels
Bird Song
Monkey Talk
Buy It

Funny Toon

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