Black Box Recorder – The Worst Of Black Box Recorder
CD Compilation, Enchanced, US, 2001
The Worst Of Black Box Recorder is a collection of b-sides, re-mixes, and the 'hits' by Sarah, Luke, and John. Their short-span of their work is very much appreciated by yours truly, due that it is hard to find an artist or band that is devoted to pure irony. That word is looked down upon, especially in pop, but I think we can always use a certain amount of irony in a work of art, especially in the pop song. Black Box Recorder makes irony into a steady art form, and it is used quite effectively in their recordings.
The three covers they do on this collection is dipping into sarcasm that is beautifully expressed by the wonderful singer Sarah Nixey, whose dead-panned vocals convey a certain amount of boredom and icy feelings. Luke Haines as a writer is border-line Ray Davies with a glam fixation. This, believe me, is a a good combination. The songs he wrote with John Moore are a tad subtle with the tongue deep in the cheek.
Their sound is eloquent and I can understand people not fully adopting their stance with a thumbs up due to the consistent stance of humor. In a funny way they remind me of 10cc in that their work is consistently clever, and clever is sometimes a tad much. Artifice and surface is used to expose a deeper understanding of their culture – which is mostly about the world of pop music and identity. There is also a JG Ballard aspect in how Black Box Recorder looks at the landscape. They have not made an album in 10 years, and I miss them.