“You’re going to die and so am I. Why are we sitting here listening to all of these lies?” I rather wish that Paul Mosley had opened his new album with the title track; those first lines are the perfect thought for today. His last full length album that I heard was The Butcher, a ghost story and a sort of love story but with You’re Going To Die! he returns to a collection of unrelated songs. On the first listening I subconsciously tried to link them which was no help.
The Red Meat Orchestra is a collective of fifteen musicians, many longtime Mosley sidespersons, providing every mood from rock to massed strings and it does take a while to settle into the album because there is so much going on. ‘Couldn’t Love You More’ is the string-drenched love song you expect but it’s followed by ‘Judge Mosley Presiding’ featuring tuned percussion and flute. Several band members play “junk” so it’s hard to tell what is actually making the sounds that decorate the arrangements.
I like the opening track, ‘Hello Yellow Crow’, very much although I’m not sure what it’s about. ‘People Are Idiots’ is a theory I’ve long held and Paul seems to return to it in the title track. “People are everything that’s wrong with this world” he sings and immediately denies the truth of the statement. The song opens as though it would be a political polemic but is, in fact, an exhortation to enjoy life while you can.
Paul turns to a reggae beat for ‘The 1970’s’ – nostalgia for his childhood – but the only possible miss-step is the Leonard Cohen impersonation at the end. I understand its purpose in the context of the song which features sounds of the 70s in its arrangement but it grates a little.
There is a lot to listen to in You’re Going To Die! and the dedication to Paul’s late mother perhaps gives us a clue to the thinking behind the songs. I recommend this record, particularly if you haven’t heard Paul’s music before.
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‘The 1970’s’ – official video: