Friday, January 31, 2014

For Whom The Bells Toll

In case you weren't convinced that life is inherently unfair, the news that Benjamin Curtis was a late addition to 2013's RIP list should clinch it.  As pretty much one half of School of Seven Bells, as well as the prime mover of Secret Machines, Curtis was responsible for some of the most striking music of the last five years, and the 2012 album Ghostory was one of the year's best. If they'd had a dollar for every critic that mentioned the Cocteau Twins in their reviews, they'd have been millionaires, but in truth, while any Cocteau Twins influences in anyone's oeuvre are entirely welcomed by this particular critic, they were far more than mere copyists.  The crunching beats that accompanied their ethereal leanings were rarely heard on 4AD (with the exceptions of M/A/R/R/S and Colourbox), and seem to owe more to Def Jam than Dif Juz. However you slice it, though, pegging out at the age of 33, when stadium-filling acclaim seems to be within your grasp, is particularly cruel.

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