I doubt there is a CD in my collection whose purchase and regular playing was so completely prompted by a single song as this effort from one of NZ’s finest songwriters.
Not Given Lightly is a splendidly raw, catchy and sweet homage to love (and to the associated sexual acts!). I love that Knox never felt compelled to sweeten the sounds of the track, staying true to his tinny, lo-fi, bedroom recording schtick.
The song is brilliant, and here are two suitably chaotic clips of him playing it live (including some Fauves footage too):
The live versions sum up the spirit of this album perfectly. Knox often sounds like he’s in the next room, noodling away on some potential work of genius, but with no capacity/desire/urge to hone the output.
But he has an incredible ability to deliver a sufficient kernel of poppiness to keep me listening. Certainly some tracks on here are so transient that you’ll forget you’ve heard them. Voyeur does delight with its falsetto Split Enz-iness, while Rapist is paradoxically the easiest listen on the album.
File under: Play Track 5 on repeat for a day at least
Footnote: Tragically Chris Knox had a stroke in mid-2009 that appears to have left him unable to perform/speak. He has been honoured with a range of cool tribute events/efforts to raise some cash on his behalf. This one looks very cool (that’s a hint for anyone looking to buy me a Xmas pressie).