The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


A review of the album 'A Wretched Sinner's Song' by Songdog

Review Snapshot: An ambitious album that deals with everything from talking crows to the mundane nature of relationships; A Wretched Sinner's Song is in equal measure creepy, sexy, scary and brilliant.

The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10

Full Review:
Albert Einstein once said 'Reality is merely an illusion, although a very persistent one.' Lyndon Morgan, however, would rather merely allude to reality than have you immerse in it; save to protect yourself from drowning in the depths of the alternative world he creates on A Wretched Sinner's Song. Morgan, who is also a playwright, constructs his cast of characters with the assistance of Karl Woodward and Dave Paterson, though it must be said that their efforts are at all times overwhelmed by Morgan's wry, wistful vocals.Songdog

'In their basement flat, Wendy's husband is humping her hard from behind, when he's not drinking, he's really quite kind' sings Morgan on Just Another Night in Limbo, one of the many songs on the album concerned with the act of coitus, most of which are bursting full of last chance lovers, cheating partners and Mr. & Mrs. Next-Door types who, after returning from church, like nothing better than spending their day in full fetish gear. It is this ability to make the listener give life’s losers, the ones we pass on the street every day, a second glance that really gives A Wretched Sinner's Song its pathos.

Biblical undertones also resonate throughout the album, with Loser Paradise and The Devil Needs you for a Squeeze reflecting Songdog's version of Heaven and Hell. It is in these songs in particular that Morgan’s fascination with the work of Jacques Brel, Tom Waits and, to a lesser extent, Nick Cave, comes to the fore.

A Wretched Sinner's Song is a work of immense bleakness and is pehaps a little too long (18 songs) but, despite this, it is also breathtakingly beautiful. Through spare acoustic arrangements and Morgans overpowering vocals, Songdog convince the listener to take the road less travelled, to suspend reality and to immerse themselves in their songs. Learn to lose yourself, and you might just find what you were looking for in this album.

Steven O'Rourke

 To buy a new or (very reasonably priced) 2nd hand copy of this album on Amazon just click here.

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Nuggets from our archive

2000 - 'Rock Criticism: Getting it Right', written by Mark Godfrey. A thought provoking reflection on the art of rock criticism.