Not however for the way she still likes to parade her breasts. (Hey! I have nothing against Wendy James’ breasts. In fact, I think it kinda cool the way she remains unashamed of her sexuality. Carry on this way, she could be the next Dr Who.)
Not however for the fact she has been listening to Kim Deal, again. (Hey! I too like to listen to Kim Deal over, and over. And there are certainly worse singers to borrow ‘your’ vocal style from…Adele, for example.)
Not however for the way much of her new album The Price Of The Ticket meanders restlessly, a stream of conscious mess (although now we are getting somewhere near the truth). And Paloma’s Downs (hey Kim!) and Indigent Blues are fucking ace, in the way Manson never were.
Not for her sickly, sickly babydoll voice, that she still parades like an asset.
Not for the way some songs go on and on, with horrible Who-style guitar solos to break up the self-indulgence, or for the way she flaunts her love of failed rock’n’roll like it’s an asset, and follows the same strain of thought that her previous few albums have followed (although now we are getting much closer to the truth). I like music that admits failure, that parades and preens its flaws like Jarvis Cocker.
Not for her Transvision Vamp past (although, you know, when I think about it).
Not for the Elvis Costello connection (I bet he is crap in bed).
Not for the pout, although yes for the pout.
Not for all the laboured love, but yes for the laboured love.
Not for the chameleon-like switch between personas and past lovers and cruelty, but yes for the chameleon-like switch between personas and cruel lovers and the past.
Not for sentimental reasons. Not here! Jesus, not here.
I admire Wendy James for this, her new solo album The Price Of The Ticket, her first solo album since her last solo album, for all its flaws and failures and cranky old pant guitar riffs and tangential asides back through England dreaming and babydoll affection and Kim Deal steals and grunge licks – and yes, we are very close to the truth now – because somewhere down the line this is indisputably Wendy James. And how many of her former colleagues and lovebunnies can you say that about? I love the sleeve. I love the fact this album meanders and mock menaces through 50 Shades of Greyish and sometimes Vivid Emotion. Its incalculable heart, that it tells the same story of almost fame that her previous X albums have told (I am guessing), that it wears its wantonness well, that it is simultaneously desperate and freed from desperation, that she still clearly loves late era 1980s Blondie, that no one will be interested in this review. More interesting than three cans of Granola. Flightier than a seagull caught in mid-tempest. Cruel and fun and doomed. The indie Marianne Faithfull.
* Oh, I have just seen the band line-up! Well, of course.