Corporate Moronic – Graeme Downes channels Kurt Weil.

I’m working through a second listening of the Verlaine’s new album Corporate Moronic.  I’m expecting, as I always do with this bunch, that the less accessible songs will grow on me, and as ever, the more accessible ones will unfold.  There is always more to a Verlaines song than first meets the ear.

I won’t comment on the music – I’m intimidated by the depth of the compositions and Downes, the main writer, has a doctorate in Mahler.  The lyrics are reasonably straightforward – here’s a current favourite from the first Track, “Paritai Drive” (a famous address for the NZ Moouveau Riche).

The free market’s the freedom to set your own wage,
and you don’t mind impoverishing us in old age,
that’s what it takes your business to thrive,
and to assemble more bricks at Paratai Drive,

But don’t kid yourself,
that none of us know,
that when money disappears,
where it all goes,
You want our work ethic,
you want us to strive,
to fund gold plated piss-pots,
on Paratai Drive.

All this in front of a three penny opera style carnival song.  In fact, my first instinct is to turn the album into a musical play of some description, some everyman caught in the financial crisis (there are a couple of ‘straight’ love and loss songs for human interest).  Maybe an animated movie?  Anyway, in writing this I’m getting through the 2nd listening and the complicated time signatures and keys are starting to sink in.  From iTunes for a taster I’d recommend Paratai Drive and Socrates for a Day – a track about what its like to be a band that is attempting artistic credibility over sales.


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