Single & Album Review: Nintendo EP & Love Is Not Rescue – Chris T-T
b/w Abraham, Martin, & John; On the Turner Grand #2; Nintendo (demo version)
(Xtra Mile Recordings)
EP available now, download only
(Xtra Mile Recordings)
Album, released 15th March
By Guy Sangster Adams
The resplendent piano saturated Nintendo EP is a wonderful prologue to Chris T-T’s excellent new album Love is not Rescue. Nintendo, which is also the opening track on the album, immediately establishes the sea change in sound and themes from T-T’s last album Capital which, fittingly as it concluded his London Trilogy, featured a far more caustic, rockier and inner city edge and edginess. But although both the new EP and album are less about kicking over the statues that is not to say that they don’t pack just as powerful a punch, and in many ways perhaps more so.
Against a piano as calming as watching a gentle incoming tide, lyrically Nintendo charts a relationship on the ebb, and holistically creates a superb and contradictory mix of poignancy and self deprecation, with a knowingness and great wry humour; for managing to make Nintendo Wii both a moving and funny lyric alone T-T should be lauded! For the EP Nintendo is backed with three tracks not included on the album: a demo version of Nintendo, On the Turner Grand #2 a six minute piano improvisation, and a great cover version of Dick Holler’s Abraham, Martin, and John. The latter is a beautiful, melodic, reflection both on loss and the struggle for human rights.
Key facets, equally, to the other tracks on Love is not Rescue, which are erudite and engaging, set to a stripped back sound of piano, organ, or acoustic guitar, to which the sounds of pedal shifts or fingers sliding on the fret board, all add to the whole. They are highly reflective and explore love, loss, and relationships, from the stand point of looking back over the decade since the release of his first album, and the effect that career choices, nigh on perpetual touring, to say nothing of getting older, have had on T-T’s personal life, and conversely the effect of the personal on the professional. As with Nintendo, Stop Listening and In The Halfway House (I Don’t Sleep Around) adroitly mix the laying bare of emotions with wry humour, not least in their pay-off lines, whilst Tall Woman is an acutely affecting study of saying goodbye to someone who has literally loomed large over one’s life.
Love is not Rescue also includes a great reworking of A.A. Milne’s Market Square, from When We Were Very Young, which as with Milne or T-T alike could be enjoyed as a wonderfully whimsical tale about wanting to buy a rabbit or as a more cautionary story about how even in a market of global availability the things that are most worthwhile to us don’t always have to be bought and sold.
That said, Nintenedo EP and Love is not Rescue do both have to be bought and sold, but they are entirely worth your money!