The Associates – Wild and Lonely
CD Album, 1990
By all concerns at this point of time The Associates is Billy Mackenzie. Wild and Lonely is his Avalon, all smooth, effortlessly performed pop, but still through his unique and overly seductive manner. I bought this particular copy of the album at The Wave in Roppongi, Tokyo. The six story building was torn town for the monster shopping complex Roppongi Hills. This album plus some others are my lasting memories of an once perfect music store. But alas, it is understandable why this album is such a sad affair for me.
The music being ultra-produced, even by Billy's standards reminds me of Tokyo's aesthetic of being in love with the surface. I think Mackenzie did play in Japan for either this album or maybe during the time of Perhaps but it is also a record that loves the surface. The one sonic aspect that breaks through the smoothness is Billy's remarkable and beautiful voice. Also there are top-notch songs on this album. One can't say this is a masterpiece or close to the greatness of Sulk, but it has its own fragile beauty among the surface of its melodies.