Photo credit: Leyton Cheek
Call it a liquor-pickled sixth sense, but something tells me that James Burnett and I could be friends. He strikes me as the kind of guy who doesn't RSVP to your party, shows up with a 20-piece bucket of the Colonel's finest, then proceeds to throw cold cuts all over the living room carpet to teach the other guests how to Cha-Cha.
And come the next day, you won't even be concerned about the fact that you distinctly remember dusting the urn on the mantel in preparation for the soiree.
Which incidentally contained Nana's ashes. Where could that have gone?
Yeah, James Burnett is likely a cad (He looks pretty comfortable in that tub, does he not?), but under the alias God Of Love, he's a cad with a new record that you want to check out.
Perky percussion and stabby synths aside, does "Take You Seriously" strike anyone as a dark song? Like, a very dark song? Not necessarily Let's skin the body and make lampshades dark (though, I'm assuming that's never officially off the table), but maybe more like I wonder what Travis Bickle is thinking dark.
Nope, there's definitely an endemic level of sociopathology going on behind that turbulent mix that can't even be concealed behind the catchy hook. It's a shame that the line between "singing" and "ranting" can be so fine. And it may not be a total shock to learn that the first song that came to my mind when spinning "Take You Seriously" was a similarly noisy number that sprung forth from two pretty dark genius minds, Leonard Cohen and Phil Spector.
Now, don't get me wrong. There's nothing particularly wrong with dark thoughts. In fact, when channeled into appropriate pursuits, wonderful things can result.
And even when it's not exactly appropriately channeled, it can still be enjoyable.
Unfortunately, those might be outliers.
A Dallas native (second one in a week, right?), Burnett poured himself into both music and literature as a lad, wading through the tomes of Hemingway, Updike and Dostoyevsky, while simultaneously cutting his teeth as a pianist in his older brother's band. Eventually, he drifted to Los Angeles, on the surface to pursue music, but no doubt somewhat under the spell of that city's siren's song as distilled through the works of guys like Bukowski.
But, as so often happens, fate eventually pulled him back home for a series of dark adventures, and ultimately, sobriety; the entire process of which he dutifully documented in the grooves of his debut solo venture, Do Your Worst. That platter, and I'm betting multiple songs of some pretty white-knuckle shit, can be yours for the taking when you least expect it.
Seriously, Red Zeppelin Records, why is there no release date for this?!