Mark Hollis – Mark Hollis

All hail the genius that is the Hollis.
Most of you won’t have a shred of interest in this artist, so I better start with some amusing anecdotes to keep you reading.
I had a look at Mark Hollis’ Wikipedia entry recently and found it a bit on the bland side, I thought about resurrecting my career as a Wiki vandal, but my previous Wiki edits weren’t great. Once I changed the entry for the Duckworth-Lewis method (the method used for calculating a score in cricket that has been cut short by the weather) and said it was named after Vera Duckworth and Jerry Lewis, which wasn’t funny. Although I felt my Norman Mailer edit was a bit better. After Norman Mailer died I edited his entry to say that he wrote a couple of episodes of Starsky and Hutch in the 1970s, silly enough but eminently plausible. It was picked up and re-pasted into a number of obituaries later that day, which gave me a warm, anarcho-situationalist glow.
I haven’t listened to this for a while, so it was nice tuning into it again, you really do need to tune into it. The word that comes to mind while listening to this album is delicate, painfully delicate (I think Mark Hollis’ amps only go up to 4).
It is hard pick a track from this album as I think all the tracks work as a whole. However, A Life (1895-1915) is really the spiritual centre of the album and also about a million miles away from anything resembling rock music. My favourite track on this listen was probably A New Jerusalem, it’s as close as he comes to sounding like Talk Talk, which is no bad thing. I love the way the piano is recorded on this album, not only do you hear the piano, but you hear the room too. I want to hear some cor anglais and bassoon on the next Coldplay album.
Three word review; Sounds of silence

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