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Michael Knight

I'm Not Entirely Clear How I Ended Up Like This

(Yes Boy Ice Cream; US: 21 Apr 2008; UK: Available as import)

Michael Knight, not a person but a band named after a fictional character, surround their second album I’m Not Entirely Clear How I Ended Up Like This with a lot of rigmarole designed to amplify the album’s stature as art, or at least to self-consciously poke fun at the notion of doing the same. So the album package looks like a well-worn book; the lyrics are set up like the text of a play; there is a faux author bio; and the entire affair comes with the subtitle “A Somewhat Disjointed Narrative in 11 Tableaux”. If those aren’t enough devices for you, the album comes on two discs: one the album of pop songs, the other an instrumental version of the same. Alas, the hoopla around the album package sets up a framework of expectation the music itself can’t live up to. The band throws strings, Morricone and musical-theater reference points, and lyrics likely to be called “literary” around songs in the Andrew Bird/Rufus Wainwright terrain that are at base, average. The instrumental version highlights some of the prettier trappings of the songs, while inevitably pointing out their less interesting structures.

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Dave Heaton has been writing about music on a regular basis since 1993, first for unofficial college-town newspapers and DIY fanzines and now mostly on the Internet. In 2000, the same year he started writing for PopMatters, he founded the online arts magazine ErasingClouds.com, still around but often in flux. He writes music reviews for the print magazine The Big Takeover. He is a music obsessive through and through. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.


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