In the wake of the retrospective “Shirts & Skins” release, Rob Clarkson reunited with himself and hit the stage and studio as a single singer-songwriter again.
Indeed, if this album is autobiographical, it would seem the intervening decade had not been particularly kind to Rob. He’s now hanging at bars constructing witticisms and witty japes (Thought Bubble) and avoiding mementos of lost relationships (Photo and Audio). He’s still trapped in share houses with the associated risks (The Housemate who Brought a Moaner Home).
Life has gone on for his friends, now entrenched in baby-making (the eerily accurate What did we talk about (before you had your babies)?). I’m reluctant to quote lyrics, but this one’s a ripper:
“You perpetuate the species
But do you have to mention faeces?”
I’m a little torn on whether I should feel guilt in Clarkson’s melancholy and wallowing. But, in the end, he’s is still a fantastic songsmith, constructing even trickier lyrical twists than in his younger days. It is a shame he won’t ever be a fucking rockstar (that’s another quote).
File under: On track