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Bobby Conn | Recovery

The glammy singer takes cues from Bowie, Dulli, Iggy & Devo. Slade, not so much.

THE PRESS RELEASE: “What’s the point of recovery if we were never really healthy to begin with? I started working on this record about four years ago, thinking of the American obsession with self-help, self-care, and self-empowerment as a cruel and cheap substitute for helping each other. It’s a concept that rewards those that have the money to help themselves, and blames those that don’t for not trying hard enough. Then there were some elections. Now there is a narrative of “recovering” our stronger, bolder, racially pure, cultural and economic glory days. And then some of my friends started getting sick, or dying or committed suicide. So it got real. But don’t worry — the record doesn’t sound depressing! As always, the sound is the past 50 years of art rock and soul tossed into a blender and set on liquify. I was really into 10cc, J Dilla, Liaisons Dangeroux, Jean Claude Vannier, Anna Meredith, Slade, D’Angelo, etc. when writing this record, but I’m sure you can hear it for yourself.”

MY TWO CENTS: What I hear is a lot of boudoir-based soul-funk grooves, decadently glammy vocals that seem to take their cues from mid-’70s David Bowie and Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli, with the occasional glimmers of post-punk and new wave pinched from Devo and Iggy. If you hear Slade in these somewhere, kudos. But I suspect he put them in that list just to see if you were paying attention.