Album Review: Jeffrey Lewis – ‘A Turn In The Dream-Songs’

A wise departure from angstier mires of yore

If our ability to repeatedly make the same mistakes is part of what makes us human, then [a]Jeffrey Lewis[/a] makes the rest of us look like robots. The anti-folk pioneer’s sixth album for Rough Trade is a familiar comedy of errors, full of dusky textures with a sparkling hue of optimism. From ‘[b]So What If I Couldn’t Take It[/b]’’s poison-guzzling neurotic who [i]“Quickly turned on the cap/Out of concern for the rats”[/i], to the ‘[b]Cult Boyfriend[/b]’ without [i]“A second date… or even first”[/i], the New York artist breathlessly unspools literate tales of woe that [i]’Flight Of The Conchords’[/i] writers would slay for. Elsewhere capitalist-baiting fable ‘[b]Krongu Green Slime[/b]’ (pure comic book-loving Jeff, that title) shows a maverick in his element. A wise departure from angstier mires of yore has rendered Jeff less cockle-warmingly funny, but razor-sharp gems like [i]“Truth is stranger than fashion”[/i] as on ‘[b]So What…[/b]’ prove that while the guy’s still writing lyrics for your bedroom wall, they’re at least getting less likely to scare off the visitors.

[i]Jazz Monroe[/i]


Record label: Rough Trade
Release date: 10 Oct, 2011