A horrible hack

Jay Reatard

Watch Me Fall

Year Released: 2009
Format: CD
Label: Matador
 
Reviewed by Ben Haynes on Jul 12, 2009
The latest LP (and first album proper for Matador) from this prolific Mephis garage punk poster-boy represents something of a continuation of Reatard’s departure from the gritty, tortured ‘Blood Visions’ into more melodic experimentations. ‘Watch Me Fall’ is, essentially, Reatard delivering twelve jangly sing-songs full of hooks in around half an hour - as usual entirely produced, recorded and, but for a few exceptions, played by himself. Lyrically there are the familiar themes of boredom, dissatisfaction and depression but the entire record carries a twee pop sensibility that often brings to mind some of the old Kiwi bands affiliated with the Flying Nun label like The Chills, The Clean and The Verlaines.

Closely following up on his intriguing but deeply inconsistent Matador singles series (and their subsequent compilation) and entirely disposable split singles with Deerhunter and Sonic Youth, Reatard’s aim here was clearly to make his first concise ‘record label album’ rather than simply a collection of songs and, to that end, he succeeds. However, we all too often find him languishing in second gear. Neither overtly catchy nor irresistibly lo-fi, and despite grandiose intentions, ‘Watch Me Fall’ is, at best, a flimsy garage rock album.

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