Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead
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Ted's first solo release sounded like a man left alone with his home studio and tape loops. Almost 5 years later, now that Ted has climbed his way near the top of the indie rock sludge heap, he takes a side trip back to his solo roots. This time, he is armed with the experiences and skills gained while rocking out with the Pharmacists. We see a more focused Ted Leo this time around than on his initial solo release.
Ted has long worshipped at the altar of British singer-songwriters. He draws his social commentary and trebly, stop-start guitar style from Billy Bragg and his cool intensity and whiteboy soul from Paul Weller. While these two artists lurk in the background on Ted's past stuff with the Pharmacists, they really step to the foreground on the Balgeary EP. And no one these days interprets Messrs. Bragg and Weller better than Ted Leo. His version of The Jam's "Ghosts", coupled with "Six Months in a Leaky Boat" (Split Enz) and The Pogues' "Dirty Old Town" (the latter being a fan favorite) all give us an eye into Ted's English-speaking influences around the globe.Read more ›
Ted Leo's new EP Tell Balgeary, Balgury is Dead is an exercise in this kind of minimalism. The EP contains the title track lifted from his recent album Hearts of Oak while the rest of the eight songs are simply Leo himself on guitar. Three of these remaining songs are covers and the rest are originals. It seems somewhat reminiscent of a punk version of Nick Drake's classic album Pink Moon, where the singer/songwriter forewent all of the strings, flutes, and organs for acoustic guitar and a touch of porcelain keys. That being mentioned, Leo's songs have the energy and power lacking in most singer/songwriter works. Hell, if Ted Leo were to duke it out with John Mayer he'd probably bring the hack musician to tears and then go about kicking the crap out of Dave Matthew just for fun. Leo assures us that when we hear one man and a guitar without accompaniment we don't always have to cringe. Unlike those artists he isn't the Wal Mart safe choice as the closing number "Loyal to My Sorrowful Country" proves with its refrain "No longer will I be loyal to my sorrowful country."
But, perhaps the most important thing about Ted Leo is that he truly illustrates punk's roots. Recently punk has become so restrained to a single sound that it has no choice but to break out, and in doing so reclaim its vast roots. Ted Leo ensure that revolution can go right along with evolution.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
not since joe jackson has someone been so indepentantly cool and rocking, great ep by a real genius indie rocker, ted leo.Published on June 8, 2008 by Pat Kolodziej
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists are one of my favorite bands. This is a great cd.Published on August 5, 2007 by Ellie K
Singer and songwriter shine here. Better than Tyrrany of Distance. If you like this then buy Shake the SheetsPublished on January 29, 2006 by Kindle Customer