Rolf Jaeger - From the German "Rolling Stone" Magazine (No. 7, July 2001, p. 102/103)
A Lesson in Life from the guitarist and songwriter.
Outside. Travelled. Vanished. Gone. Dead. Forgotten. "Degrees of Gone". The nothing and the next-to-nothing. "I'm out of drugs and I'm all out of wine/ No more tears, nothing left to pine for."
Just like 1999's "Begging her graces", the new MacDonald album has a concept without being a concept album: the hurt that life dishes out, that makes us struggle while trying to live it. A lesson in "jaws of life" on how to survive and be a better person afterwards. MacDonald, who sees this as part of the menu, is neither lustfully dissecting the private psychology of pain nor fleeing into sarcasm. The man is alive and wants to be.
Again John Parish (eels, PJ Harvey) produced and played a lot. The strings of the notorious Inchtabokatables find a better home here - pure luxury, but beautiful. "No One's Daddy" could be a Stones-cover by Polly Harvey, the ghostly Rock'n Roll of "Baby Love" a T-Bone Burnett copy, and "The Other Side" Roy Harper -- if Pat didn't have enough personality on his own.
His vocals conjure true intimacy without being too touchy-feely, the drums are an exquisit rumble, and the touches of electronica are nothing but clean, pure un-purism, authentic and honorable - not just of the moment.
Well, the man's been refusing to sell out since the mid-eighties and to give away the worldhit "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" of his Electro-Folk-Pop duo Timbuk 3 for a commercial. He'd much rather sleep under a bridge. With his guitar.
Last update: 2002-Dec-02