Review: Boz Boorer – Some of the Parts
Published on September 4th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Morrissey’s guitarist, previously of The Polecats, releases his fourth solo album to little in the way of fanfare, and this feels somehow apt for a collection of songs that manage to veer wildly yet playfully between genres without ever once sounding affected or self-conscious.
Opener “Turned To Stone” is the kind of jangly, “Taxman”-aping Brit-pop you might expect if you don’t know much about Boz Boorer other than the aforementioned credentials, but the crashing, tumbling delivery hints at the eccentricity that lies beneath. The ensuing “Saunders Ferry Lane” makes a sudden beeline for dark, lavish film noir soundtrack, Boorer’s Johnny Cash-meets-Jarvis Cocker vocal backed up by an authoritative string arrangement, paving the way for single “Slippery Forces” to mount a charm offensive with its strutting drums, female backing vocals, I Am Kloot-esque ragged elegance and colourful lyrics such as “If she were a spy for clandestine operators / I’d sell my soul faster than bootleg gasoline / She’s oblivious to traffic jams and Mafioso funerals”.
The luxurious strings, tinkling ivory and sleekly sophisticated, cascading melodies of “Bozanova Brown” could be straight out of a spy movie, while “Tokyo Calling” and “Cast Iron Arm” break out the ’50s rockabilly style associated with The Polecats, the former coming across a little like Chuck Berry and the latter ending with a malevolently whispered “that’ll teach ’em to mess with me, boy”.
“Sunday Morning Coming Down” presents a murky stomp with Graham Coxon-ish guitar flourishes, “Doctor Jazz” is a swingin’ descendant of “Funtime Frankie” that could conceivably have been written by Paul McCartney sometime between 1968 and 1972 (“They call me Doctor Jazz and that’s my fate / I’m famous for the way I operate / I’ll fix you up when you get down / My bedside manner is the talk of the town / They call me Doctor Jazz and that’s just great”), before proceedings are brought to a close with the quizzically jazzy shuffle of “Of Hooves” and mental rockabilly of “I’m Gonna Make Your Mind”, both of which play host to some really rather monstrous growling from your man Boorer, or perhaps a friend in the throes of deep psychosis.
Essentially Some of the Parts gives you three or four different Boorers for the price of one, which should amount to good value if you can handle the genre-hopping without your head spinning of your shoulders in bemusement. A welcome distraction for both maker and listener.
Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!