Dressed Up for the Letdown

Dressed Up for the Letdown

by Richard Swift


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Richard Swift threw his dice down a lo-fi Tin Pan Alley on the Novelist/Walking Without Effort, a collection of sepia-toned curios that spanned 2001 to 2004 but sounded like visionary pop acetates from the 1904 World's Fair. The native Minnesotan and closet anglophile taps his cane down "Penny Lane" on Dressed Up for the Letdown, a warm and deceptively inviting celebration of post-Revolver "Fab Four" ("Kisses for the Misses" is pure, amiable McCartney despair). Swift's laconic delivery is often compared to contemporaries like Ron Sexsmith and Rufus Wainwright, but when he tosses off self-directed barbs like "I played your heart but I broke two strings Jesus Christ, you're a lovely thing" from the swooning "Buildings in America," it's a Ray Davies or Elvis Costello comparison that he's more deserving of. While the album as a whole does wallow a bit, it never suffers melodically. The Richard Hawley-esque "Ballad of You Know Who" may conjure up images of a cocktail-cherry-covered beverage napkin, but it feels more like a wink than a teardrop, the ambling title cut perks up as a ghostly horn trio wanders in from the cold, and the cabaret-style closer paints John the Baptist as "The Opening Band" for Jesus Christ. Dressed Up for the Letdown feels like the wee hours of morning, and that may keep some listeners from breaking it out as often as they should, but like all good slices of melancholy pie, it's best enjoyed in your basement while the rest of the world is asleep.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/20/2007
Label: Secretly Canadian
UPC: 0656605013329
catalogNumber: 133
Rank: 90863

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