Jay Reatard – Matador Singles ‘08

Jay Reatard
Matador Singles ‘08
Matador Records

Who woulda thunk a kid in his 20s would have two collections of singles released in the same year (and these covering only a two year span of his 10-plus year career)? The ever-prolific Jay Reatard keeps evolving his distinct, agitated pop sound. These songs are creepy as hell but catchy as fuck. His solo debut (2006s Blood Visions) was just as angry but more or less straight ahead rock and roll punk. On the EPs since, he’s using more keyboards, acoustic guitar through who-knows-what-the-fuck pedals and vocal layering to an increasingly eerie effect. These songs are more mid-tempo than Blood Visions and considering how Reatard speeds up those songs in live performances, I wonder how these new tunes will play live.

I’ve noticed an increasing amount of 7″ EPs in the past two years. I thought the format was long dead… Ugh, I don’t want to use the word “comeback” here so it’s likely I wasn’t paying attention and wrote off the 7″. This full-length version is sequenced like the singles but flows like an album. The only song missing from the 7″ series is Deerhunter’s version of Reatard’s “Oh It’s Such a Shame” (I thought it was kinda cheap to throw a split single in the middle of the series). Matador makes up for it by including the unreleased “I’m Watching You”. Reatard’s version of Deerhunter’s “Fluorescent Grey” sounds like it could be his own song.

Next up, a split 7″ with Beck. No, really.

Author: Sal Lucci

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