domingo, 25 de fevereiro de 2018

John Kongos - Confusions Gold Fish 1969

In the late '60s, a school of performers was emerging in Britain that combined early singer/songwriter rock with pop, and weren't rooted much in the folk-rock that many early singer/songwriters claimed as their early inspiration. Some of the best-known of those artists were Elton JohnDavid Bowie, and Cat Stevens; there were others who weren't nearly as famous, such as John Kongos (who would in fact shortly go on to work with Gus Dudgeon, who also produced early records by John and Bowie). And there's some reason for that: as heard on Confusions About a Goldfish (the South African native's first album after his move to Britain), he wasn't nearly as distinctive as the aforementioned names. He essays mild, introspective singer/songwriter stuff just this side of wimpy, and sometimes prone to the more excessively over-straining lyricism of the late '60s, as in the title song, where he wonders where the goldfish in a bowl celebrates Thanksgiving. Heavy musings indeed! It's actually one of the gutsier tracks, as others are prone to dainty, dated orchestrations that can put this as close to sentimental pop as serious singer/songwriting. It's closer to early John than early Bowie, though the wordy and winding earnestness of songs like "Go Home" and "Flim, Flam Pharisee," which both combine strummed acoustic guitars with strings, aren't a million miles away from Bowie's earliest solo efforts. Kongos would do better on his next album, Kongos, recorded with Dudgeon as producer and many of the same musicians John used on his early outings, and including a remake of one of this LP's songs, "Tomorrow I'll Go." (All of the tracks from Confusions About a Goldfish are included on the Kongos anthology Lavender Popcorn, which also includes 1966-1969 singles he recorded on his own or as part of Floribunda Roseand Scrugg, as well as a few unreleased songs from the same period.) AMG.

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