Ezra Furman – Transangelic Exodus – Album Review
Released 9th February 2018 on Bella Union
Ezra Furman @ Tivoli Theatre in Dublin – Tuesday 29 May 2018, 20:00
“I eat an orange every morning, and I take my time with the peel
It’s my beginners meditation, to start my little journey on an even keel” – Peel My Orange Every Morning
Ezra returns with his first album since 2015’s Perpetual Motion People, although he did have two EPs last year in the form of Songs by Others & Big Fugitive Life. It seems Ezra is at the stage of his career where writing music is very easy indeed! The highly prolific 31 year old continues to draw attention with his vibrant stage shows and blend of pop and guitar rock. What often goes unsaid is how good a lyricist he is, he has a real skill with a quirky couplet and this is evident in spades on this release.
It opens with the fun, trashy number ‘Suck the Blood From My Wound’, which contains guitars, keyboards and electronic sounds, with Ezra’s voice in the foreground. It is a strong start for an album that rarely lags.
‘Even the deepest wounds will heal over time, I’ll rub my fingers over your scars and yours over mine’ – Suck the Blood from my Wound
Next up is Driving Down to L.A. which is filled with distorted guitars and synth sounds while he tells of a road trip. God Lifts Up The Lowly is a slow track with cello and vocals that remains sombre throughout, as he tells us he’s rearranging the furniture in a burning house.
‘My Guardian Angel got wings of tinfoil and cigarettes found in the street’ – God Lifts Up The Lowly
No Place ups the pace with a drum-driven track, with a tale of feeling dislocated. Compulsive Liar is a song that starts slowly with occasional bursts of noise. It’s about one of his failings, his willingness to lie to others. Possibly the best name of a song on the album, “Maraschino-Red Dress $8.99 at Goodwill” is a fast and nasty 80s inspired song with guitar and keyboard. Love You So Bad is another Cello driven track, an upbeat song of unrequited love. ‘Peel My Orange Every Morning ‘ is another quiet song with moments of sporadic madness, in some ways it is the centre of the album. A tale of how Ezra starts his days on the constant trips through hotel rooms on tour.
‘I am citrus, open me and expose the soft wet inside’ – Peel My Orange Every Morning
Final song ‘I Lost My Innocence’ is an upbeat end to the album, with guitars and horns as it bops along.
While the musical arrangement on this album may be somewhat conventional, there are so many delights in the lyrical content, so many moments that make you giggle. This has the feel of an album that will last. Something that people will come back to years from now and continue to enjoy. It will be fascinating to see how Ezra’s career develops but he certainly has everything it takes to make it to the very top.
“I lost my Innocence, to a boy named Vincent, in a single instance I joined the true resistance’ – I Lost My Innocence
Track List –
1. Suck the Blood From My Wound 04:49
2. Driving Down to L.A. 03:18
3. God Lifts Up The Lowly 03:49
4. No Place 03:37
5. The Great Unknown 02:47
6. Compulsive Liar 02:45
7. Maraschino-Red Dress $8.99 at Goodwill 02:30
8. From A Beach House 02:34
9. Love You So Bad 03:39
10. Come Here Get Away From Me 03:55
11. Peel My Orange Every Morning 01:41
12. Psalm 151 03:40
13. I Lost My Innocence 03:21