Sleeping tablets seem like such a good idea at the time: A sure-fire fool-proof good nights sleep. What you tend to forget or push to the back of your mind when popping that 10mg white wonder is 'the morning after', the sleeping pill comedown. I was out of bed for about 11.00am this morning and finally woke up about twenty minutes ago. The interim was spent bouncing around my apartment like a confused and slow motion pinball scoring points off the toilet, sofa and kitchen surface. Ugh...
Even now I am not quite back in the land of the living, one foot still in that place between here and asleep. So was it worth it? An entire morning sacrificed in the name of a nights sleep free of German fucking idiots singing and dancing outside of my window? Yes, I think it was because for the first Nuremberg Sunday in a long time I am not fantasizing about rolling hand grenades down night club stairs, about waiting with a Polaroid at the entrance to start snapping my handiwork, laughing at the limbless as they struggle to escape the flames and debris. Severe yes but noise pollution, sonic torture they do strange things to a man. Strange things.
And talking if 'strange things' (Whoooopa!) Tim Buckley's 'Sefronia' is on my turntable. It's the first time I heard it and I can't for the life of me remember where this copy came from. I imagine I picked it up around Christmas. Now I always had this pinned as 'Bad Buckley' (File along with 'Look At the Fool') but I was obviously wrong. Okay it's not staggering like 'Blue Afternoon' or 'Starsailor' but it's not half bad... Wait, but it kind of is. Half of it is 'not great' so I suppose technically it's 'Half not great'. But let's concentrate on the half, actually more than half if I'm honest that is great. Tim seems to nail it almost every other song, his voice pitch perfect, equal parts tortured genius and Dan Fogelberg and the orchestration is clear crisp and expertly balanced. Oddly enough this is also the records undoing. There are places where it sounds close to Jim Steinmen era Meatloaf 'Bat Out of Buckley' if you will.
I really should give 'Look At the Fool' another go off the back of this. Not least because it's his death rattle, his final act before he accidentally O.D'd on beer and horse. I wonder if he sings about dolphins and 'brown nipples' on on that as well, I do hope so. The song 'Martha' that comes after the idiotic but catchy 'Peanut Man' is really, really good. The strings are fantastic, definitely a keeper.
Something else wonderful about this record is the sleeve. It's the 'Mona Lisa' of record covers. Is he frowning? Is that an 'enigmatic smile'? You really can't tell if he's happy or if he needs a shit. There is obviously something going on inside his head, its just impossible to say what it is. Maybe he had to take sleeping tablets the night before?
So in conclusion, would I stick my neck out and recommend this? Yes, I think I would but with a caveat: This is not 'Star Sailor'... But it's not, not 'Star Sailor' if you get me? Imagine somebody took 'Star Sailor' and put it in the washing machine, hung it out to dry and ironed it really well, well that's kind of 'Serfonia'. Your favorite jeans with a crease ironed down the front of the leg.