Posted on August 30th, 2011 (12:57 pm) by Joseph Bogen

For some reason, my dad has bought every Mick Jagger solo album. I don’t think he’d ever defend them musically, but as a Rolling Stones fan, some sense of duty propels him not just to acquire every increasingly disappointing Stones album but their even less defensible solo albums as well. The terribleness of these albums can be blamed on a lot of things: the increasing age and irrelevance of the artists, the pathetic and failed attempts to stay “contemporary” and the fact that these are all basically ego projects. But really any solo album from in a functional band is likely to be kind of awful. The Rolling Stones are not unique. Just look at my recent review of Efrim Menuck’s new album.

Even when adjusting for those low standards, Nick Diamonds’ (of Islands and The Unicorns fame) I Am an Attic doesn’t hold up particularly well. Sure, neither Islands or Unicorns are known for their polished studio work, but this album sounds like something your friend in college made in between classes or when he couldn’t find a party to go to on the weekends so he stayed home. It isn't only that the album sounds as if it was self produced at home. The songwriting just isn’t at a level you would expect from an accomplished artist like Diamonds. Songs like “You Must Be Choking” feel unfinished and improvised in all of the wrong ways. To his credit, Diamonds isn’t asking anyone to pay for this album. You can download it for free via Bandcamp. Given it probably cost next to nothing to record, I think this is probably only fair.

There’s not much to make I Am an Attic interesting. “Attic” and “Used to Be Funny” are two of the most boring songs I’ve heard this year. “Don’t Do Us Any Favors” is a rare strong moment for the album where Diamonds actually comes up with a compelling melody and performance, but for the most part, this album succeeds when Diamonds keeps the moods light as on “In Dust We Trust.” Diamonds mostly is unable to make the music connect on his own. As if to prove the point, album closer “Fade Out” sounds as if it’s the only track recorded with a full band, and not coincidentally is also one of the album’s best tracks. But even "Fade Out" feels light and insignificant, two words that could apply equally to every other track on this album.

Track List:

1. Attic
2. Gone Bananas
3. Used to Be Funny
4. Was Swords
5. Don't Do Us Any Favours
6. In Dust We Trust
7. The Vaccine
8. You Must Be Choking
9. (untitled instrumental)
10. Dream, Dream, Dream
11. Fade Out

Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

43 / 100
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