Louie Austen - Iguana

Would Frank Sinatra be making electro disco dance records if he were still on planet earth?? A collaboration with Mark Ronson perhaps? Or maybe the Neptunes? Come to think of it, it’s a surprise Franks record company haven’t tried eeking out a little post mortem payola courtesy of a superstar DJ mix or two, or if not them, then some bedroom bootlegging DJ splicing his dads Frank with Kraftwerk…

Well maybe it’s all been done and I’ve just not heard it, but whether it has or hasn’t, the results of such a mix might well sound something like Iguana by Louie Austen…

Formerly a club crooner from the same old school as Frank, Louie Austen is an experienced hand in the music game. His uncompromising approach to his trade has shown him occasional bumpy times along the way, but these peaks and troughs haven’t affected Louies self belief, his passion or his longevity. Yes boss, Louie is now 60 years old, and he’s not only still going strong, he’s opening up new and younger audiences for himself and this is what I like to call impressive class…

So how does a good old crooner doing electro disco work exactly?

Well, Iguana features the work of 4 different producers though you wouldn’t necessarily know it as the sound is pretty constant and consistent, centering around electro, disco and house with occasional nods to the easy listening sounds of James Last and the like.

Lyrically, Louie shares his passion for life and the history of music as he remembers it and his delivery is, as you'd expect, liquid smooth and composed. In fact, taken all around, Iguana is a profoundly easy listening LP and if this album were a drive, it'd be a pleasant Sunday afternoon one in some kind of cabriolet...

Yes, it’s late spring or early summer. You’re in a white Volkswagen Bettle Convertible with the top down. You’re wearing a cream suit and a Panama and you’re cruising around old English country lanes thinking you might never go back to work, normal life etc. You’re playing Iguana by Louie Austen and you are living!

So is the LP any good? Well, is a drive in the country in a cabriolet in late spring any good? Of course it is…

On the odd occasion, I felt a little short changed by the production. I mean sometimes the sounds are a little too formulaic and unadventurous, suggesting that if they were standing without the voice and the concept they might not work out too well.

There's also the occasional failure in the fit between the vocal and the strict programming of sequenced dance music. In his autobiography Bill Drummond formerly of The KLF waxes about the problems Jimmy Cauty had trying to fit Tammy Wynettes intuitive vocal onto the strict electronic sequences in the KLFs bumper smash Justified and Ancient. I reckon this same difficulty surfaces occasionally here.

But these are small problems and I still say dust down your cream suit, get the top down on that VW and vote Louie. Better still get along and see him play live, I reckon you’ll get the best of him in the club.

See you there....

Overall

7

out of 10

Last updated: 19/04/2018 02:50:48

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