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Scott Walker - Climate of Hunter CD (album) cover


Scott Walker

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4 stars Scott Walker is actually one of my favorite artists and I was surprised to see him added in 2023 on the site. I will start writing about his 'Climate of Hunter' album, because it is perhaps his first progressive rock album. As artistic and masterful as his sixties records may have been, they were in a sense English chansons albums with very sophisticated arrangements. On 'Clime of Hunter' Walker starts his stint with producer Peter Walsh and one could see it as a huge stepping stone or transitional record when having the very accomplished 'Tilt'-album in mind. However, whereas Tilt has a timeless yet modern sound, Climate of Hunter is definitely more rooted in the eighties soundwise. The gated (electronic) drums, the fretles bass and wave-type synths can be quite a hindrance when first listening to this record. I found that repeated listening really did wonders for me and my appreciation for this record. In a way its much easier to listen to than Tilt, yet almost as dark and brooding. The soundstage of the production is brilliant and the voice of Walker is recorded beautifully. The dissonant backdrops are in a stage of development, but they do enrich the eighties sophisto pop/rock arrangements immensely. The echoed voice of Walker sounds like ghost from another age in these eighties soundscapes and somehow it just feels right after a while. What puts 'Climate of Hunter' a notch down is the difference in quality between side 1 and side two. The first four songs are pretty much perfect and different from each other. With 'Sleepwalkers Woman' Walker returns to the fully symphonic arrangements of the sixties in a grand, dark style. De second side starts to drag a bit after a while and even sounds a bit unfinished when it comes to the production; the songs could you use an added instrument or sound effect here and there. Yet, this is really pushing myself to criticize this record in order to explain the record's lesser status in Walker's discography. The digital remastered version from 2008 sounds good, a little more focused and punchier than the eighties vinyl I have - which sound a bit warmer and more spacious. Both are fine. Scott Walker's 'Climate of Hunter' is a great eighties symphonic sophisto pop/rock album with the mark of the artistry of one of the greatest of the twentieth century music. Don't let the shadow that the mighty Tilt- album casts obscure this gem.
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Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2023 | Review Permalink

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