Music review: George Clanton’s “Slide”

In tunes

George Clanton’s album Slide explores the motifs of grief and loss, of loneliness and being alone. It stretches notes and voices into echoes, builds it up with layers of electronic elements from the ’90s, and somehow it achieves the sonic equivalent of longing, of yearning for a long-lost childhood or that first love. Slide shines in nostalgia: the long-drawn synths and delays in You Lost Me There does this masterfully, while the signature looping vocals in Livin’ Loose gives off that effect that it’s a song made out of illusions, as in a hall of mirrors. Perhaps to counter these sedating effects, the lyrics, despite being confessional, are clear-eyed and frank, devoid of any artifice or poetic attempts. “Can we take the long way home?” is endearing, but the word “convene” in “We can convene, make it forever”, which featured in two songs, is stylishly awkward. I suppose the entire album – or the tracks I love – is more mood than meaning, with repetitions employed as a device to create that dreamy atmosphere: You’re talking to someone you love through a PC and a Logitech webcam set-up connected to a very laggy dial-up connection, and you have your Windows Media Player in the background, playing hushed tunes in step with the visualizer. You keep seeing the same image of that person even if the line got cut. The album, I learned after several days of listening, is all about holding that frame still.

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