the loud bassoon online zine - records: andy partridge - fuzzy warbles volume 4

Andy Partridge
Fuzzy Warbles Volume 4
(Ape CD 004)

You wouldn't want to listen to several Fuzzy Warbles CDs at once, for fear of diabetic coma and/or uncontrollable nausea, but in small, controlled doses, they deliver a fine sugar rush with no observable side effects (besides, possibly, social outcastedness).

Demos of "That's Really Super, Supergirl," "Season Cycle," and "Braniac's Daughter" are doled out like expensive candy (just one or two of these per disc … obviously it would be unhealthy to take in too many of these at once). Other bright spots include "The Art Song," (which has the same "You Can't Do That"-style rollick as "My Train is Coming" off Volume 3), "I'm Playing My Fano" (a charming jingle done, as far as I can tell, for a free guitar), and "Hey, It's Alan Burston!" (an absolutely sparkling rockabilly radio jingle).

Second-tier tracks include "All I Dream of is a Friend," another James and the Giant Peach reject (see also the supreme "Don't Let Us Bug Ya" from Volume 1). This one is super-contrived, but Partridge does this kind of thing better than most … it's as pretty as many a Ron Sexsmith song, though ten times as fake.

Things get downright ugly with "Bumpercars," which is as melodically seasickening a song as I can think of, even for Partridge. But there aren't any completely worthless tracks here (i.e. the hammy studio chatter on FW1 or the dreadful pseudo-"world music" guitar experiments on FW3).

So that's 4 … more, please.

Review by Suzie Cant