Idiot Glee - Idiot Glee [VINYL]

by Jim Harris Rating:10 Release Date:2016-01-29

From the opening track, 'Deep Warm Something’, which begins with a strange prog-rock intro that transitions into a happy, almost rag-time piano jag, you know you are not in the hands of a typical alt-rocker. Idiot Glee is not a typical band and their self-titled album is not a typical alternative album.

James Friley, who is Idiot Glee, hails from Kentucky, is in his early 20s, claims to be a Morman (even though I am from Kentucky, and I don’t recall their being in Mormans there), and has put out a purely delightful collection of primarily weird, offbeat ballads that recall the innocence of those summer 60s bands who wrote about lost love amid a backdrop of lush organs and pianos and wonderful choruses and poppy beats.

But James Friley doesn’t write about lost love so much as weird emotional states where he doesn’t feel just right(‘I Don’t Feel Right’) or indirectly about his parents through odd metaphors (‘What’s That Smell?) and then other times just simply looney flights of fancy as in ‘Personal Computer Television’.  But where his odd, I’m a borderline serial killer with a new record out persona really shines is with the comically brilliant, ‘The Whip,’ which tells the story of an abusive cowboy teaching his children how to do cowboy things.

James Friley tells the story of being raised on Emerson, Lake and Palmer and other such 70s prog bands and how he is a classically-trained pianist who listens to all the modern stuff from Neil Young to Arcade Fire, and you add in his odd sense of story-telling, and it all adds up to him being the new heir to Warren Zevon.  And his cleverness with the tune as well as the lyric made me think of how much I enjoyed and miss the long lost quirky troubadour, Mr. Zevon.

Carry on, Idiot Glee.  This is one of the early contenders for my top ten list.

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