Nick Hudson and The Academy of Sun
My Antique Son


1.5
very poor

Review

by Richard Warrell USER (16 Reviews)
March 3rd, 2011 | 7 replies | 3,515 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Epic, yet poorly executed album. Not without merit, but it is an exhaustive effort to find that merit. Too grandiose for its own good.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Nick Hudson claims this album addresses his “uncommon passions for vision-incensed dead poets, oblique sonic landscapes and ghosts-as-memories, via a progressive songwriting aesthetic that traces a lineage through William Blake, Rupert Brooke, Heliogabalus, Aleister Crowley, chanson, doom and prog to create a bewitching psychedelic eruption of words and music.” Not a dash of pretention to be found here, then!

First song “My Antique Dead” sounds like it was recorded in a gigantic, empty concert hall. Though the effect is impressive – and the production impeccable on the synths and strings that drift along with the haunting Victorian piano melody – it also highlights this album’s main problem: disconnection from audience. Hudson has made an incredible sounding album, but he’s in a world of his own, too far away for any of us to connect with or understand. The result is atmospheric, but also chaotic and impossible to forge a connection to. “London” opens with a brilliant keyboard hook, ruined by Hudson’s aimless, un-focussed vocal delivery and confusing lyrics. It sounds all together too comfortable, too – borderline spoken word, there is no tension at all.

Hudson applies three main approaches to composition on this album. There are the more tuneful, musical pieces, such as “Rupert Brooke”, the incredibly atmospheric, slightly sinister pieces – quite exotic at times – such as “The Burning Sea”, and there are tracks which attempt to merge the two styles. These efforts at combining the two sounds make up the bulk of the album, and are unfortunately where it falls down – too confused and lacking in focus, they as baffling as the more focussed compositions such as the Simon & Garfunkel-esque “All The Pretty Horses” are worthwhile. At times, it makes you appreciative of the Sunn O))) influenced sludge, because you prize this quality after several minutes of boredom.

Hudson saves the best for almost-last, with “Hierocles”, finally achieving the “progressive songwriting” the album claims to contain, with energetic choral chants sitting perfectly alongside his haunting piano tunes – the previously over-used piano now having renewed impact after its absence on the last two tracks. It’s experimental and unusual, but hardly incredible material, and far from makes up for the deluge of boredom you face until this point. What good there is here is just too much energy to listen to at all. I don’t think I would do so again – it takes a lot of effort and the payout is a minimal return on investment. Shame – an album too grandiose for its own good. A rare thing from a relatively small artist, which is some sort of achievement I suppose.

Oh and it's 70 minutes long. There's that much filler on show here.



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user ratings (2)
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3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
WashboardSuds
March 3rd 2011



4981 Comments


this review almost reads like a 2 to me.
its good and objective for the most part though, so have a pos.

never heard of this guy.

Digging: Acid Bath - When the Kite String Pops

TheRamblingElf
March 3rd 2011



38 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I hadn't heard of him either - got it from my uni newspaper to review, they didn't print it so I shot it up here.

If it were your average 45-55 minute album, it would be a 2 - i.e. if you cut out SOME of the filler, so you didn't have quite so much to ignore to get to the enjoyable bits. But it's over 70 minutes long.

North0House2
March 3rd 2011



5808 Comments


Yeah, never heard of him...

Digging: Martin Grech - Open Heart Zoo

TheRamblingElf
March 3rd 2011



38 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I sorta prefer to review stuff people are less likely to know - it's more useful. And less likely to get coverage by someone else, so more in need of it.

WashboardSuds
March 3rd 2011



4981 Comments


^agree with this.

reviewing obscure albums is good for your earlier reviews

North0House2
March 3rd 2011



5808 Comments


"reviewing obscure albums is good for your earlier reviews"

For sure, that's what I did a lot on my old account. I actually don't believe a single one of the albums I reviewed was well known. All of them were free as well lol. It's more fun to try and get the word out about a band anyway.

TheRamblingElf
March 4th 2011



38 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I dunno if it's better when they're earlier (you almost want someone who knows the album to be able to comment on your writeup on it), I just think it's better generally. All the big releases, the mainstream press will handle - that's why I favour looking at other things.



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