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Music Review

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Artist: Scott Lavene
Label: Funnel Music
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 07 June 2019

Scott Lavene releases his album Broke, via Funnel Music, drenched in a world of living in the gutter but staring at the stars. A storyteller, delivering real life vignettes over wonk beats and scuzz riffs, he offers a 21st century take on those maverick genius outsiders that Stiff Records used to release back in the punk wars...

Broke is an engaging and fun album that sees Scott Lavene take a wry sideways look at the world. The PR blurb claims that "Lavene has the lyrical smarts and the fairground bark of an Ian Dury, the incisive wordplay of a Costello and the deadpan pop of Madness in his creative DNA, along with the street poetry of an Essex boy version of Lou Reed, the dislocated funk of Talking Heads, the jellied eel lyrical bounce of Chas and Dave, and the inventive surreal see-saw of a Tom Waits..." For once, this is pretty much spot on.

The album's 9 songs (42 min, 25 sec) are full of detail and a life lived in scuffed shoes, rainy towns and the magic of the everyday. Songs about small talk, being skint, doomed affairs and the sweetness of falling in love over a cup of tea.

For some reason Waitrose, Ikea and M&S all getting name checked. 'Super Clean' feels like a tongue in cheek homage to Bowie, whilst 'Broke' has an entertaining and fun story which plays out with a worryingly incisive narrative.

While it's not a novel album that everyone will enjoy, I found it to be an engaging, fun release which reflects a certain side of society that many will be able to relate to.


Nick Smithson

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