CD Inarticulate Nature Boy (CD 6306414),
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Inarticulate Nature Boy
2. Soon Enough
3. Paint the Tree Green
4. What Do I Know
5. Dead American
6. Matchbox Head
7. Bigger Than Me
8. Inarticulate Nature Boy
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 540431
Josh Clayton Felt; Tony Phillips
Personnel: Josh Clayton Felt (vocals, various instruments); Michael Ward (guitar); Chad Fischer (tambourine); Matt Wallace, Tony Phillips (percussion); Dan Shaheen.
Recorded at The Tree House, Topanga Canyon, California from December 1994 to March 1995.
Personnel: Michael Ward (guitar); Chad Fischer (tambourine); Matt Wallace , Tony Phillips (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Tony Phillips.
Recording information: Tree House, Topanga Canyon, CA (12/1994-03/1995).
Photographer: Mike "Hitman" Wilson.
Unknown Contributor Role: Dan Shaheen.
Five years down the road from the School of Fish debut's hypnotic grooves, dreamy lyrics/melodies, and chunky guitar with the occasional spot of feedback and backwards riffing, Josh Clayton-Felt mines a more casual, relaxed, and eccentric approach on Inarticulate Nature Boy. A solo recording in the most organic sense, Clayton-Felt gave birth to Nature Boy in a home studio setting while performing all the instruments, often intuitively rather than through any previous experience. There's an attractive tip of the hat to a timeless, post-punk vibe, guitars meshing with keyboards (in this case a vintage Wurlitzer) with vague references to Bryan Ferry, the Fixx, A Flock of Seagulls, and ABC without the "new romantic" poses, electronic-age-alienation pretensions, and with better lyrics -- a vein of art-rock fused to a singer/songwriter tradition. Highlights run from the breezy, exotic "Soon Enough" to the title track's articulate hand-clapping rhythm. But the real memory engraver here is "Trumpet," a naively infectious ode to one of the instruments Clayton-Felt approached in these sessions for the first time. The track serves as a more introspective variation on the superficial call to action "Just do it."
Ultimately, it's the fresh, unassuming, intelligence of Inarticulate Nature Boy that brings me back to it. Without sounding anything like either of them, Clayton-Felt falls into a loose class of former-band-frontman solo artists like Michael Been (the Call) and Ian McNabb (the Icicle Works) who develop a small but deservedly loyal cult following. If anyone out there, just to prove me wrong, chooses to start a campaign to make Nature Boy a huge hit rather than a tiny cult phenomenon, please let me know so I can be first in line to buy a second copy. ~ Roch Parisien
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A&M (USA) 540431
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