erasing clouds

Bob Mould, Body of Song

reviewed by tonydoug wright

Bob Mould, Body of Song (Yep Roc, 2005)

THE BAND:Bob Mould featuring Brendan Canty, Matt Hammon, David Barbe and Amy Domingues

THE HISTORY: Bob Mould has had an impressive musical career as a singer, guitar player and songwriter for Hüsker Dü, Sugar and as a solo artist. Influential and legendary, Mould is considered one of the greats in Rock music and to many he is viewed as one of the best American artists over the past twenty-five years.

THE REVIEW:It was sometime in early August when one of my good friends informed me that Bob Mould had released a new album. I must admit that I was a little cautious to pick up his new album Body of Song due to the fact that his last record Modulate, an experimental electronica album, was given the Spinal Tap performing ‘Jazz Odyssey’ thumbs-down from fans and critics. Fear not disbeliever because I am here to proclaim that Mould’s Body of Song is, for the most part, a return to the solo sound circa Bob Mould and The Last Dog And Pony Show. Before you do some kind of happy dance I hope you do not expect this release to be an “I’m sorry about Modulate” response to fans and critics but instead it is an unveiling of what could be the future of Mould’s musical direction.

Body of Song opens with ‘Circles’ a song that got this old school fan drooling thanks to fuzzy guitars with anguished lyrics. Mould immediately brought me back to reality with the second track ‘(Shine Your) Light Love Hope’ a return to Modulate electronica number that gave me the urge to break out the glow-sticks. It is almost like Mould is telling the fans that they will get the rockers they love but they are also going to get the electronica material as well.

From there Body of Song dishes out more selections of rock, electronica and acoustic ballads. Mould is able to mix up the rock and electronica with success especially with ‘I Am Vision, I Am Sound’ and ‘Always Tomorrow’ plus he throws in two great acoustic tracks ‘High Fidelity’ and ‘Gauze of Friendship’. But rock gold is struck with ‘Best Thing’ an amazing Sugar throwback that just might be the best track on Body of Song, which is a somewhat bold statement considering the fact that this album is pretty solid from start to finish.

Unfortunately, Mould is one of those artists like Frank Black and Paul Westerberg that will always have his work dissected and overanalyzed because he cannot crank out a bunch of Zen Arcade or Copper Blue clones to appease the masses. Body of Song is pretty impressive and it shows that Mould still has some gas in the rock tank.


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