UNKLE - The Road Pt1— Si Sharp -
UNKLE have always left me scratching my head. The first album was just Shadow writing and performing with guests while James Lavelle did what exactly? Made phone calls to guest artists? Played with Star Wars figures? Made the tea? Since then, Lavelle has stretched himself further and is no longer just an entrepreneurial muse. His creative contribution to music seems to be some kind of mobile brainstorming workshop - finding talented people and knocking ideas about. Whatever it is he does, it seems to finally be working. The Road avoids the usual pitfalls of a curated collab album. The artists are appropriate to the material and meet Lavelle half way and there’s a consistency in vision and sound that moves between genres without sounding like a compilation. It is one of two albums to successfully use Mark Lanegan, a singer whose lightning is rarely captured in his guest appearances.
Albums of 2017 #20