Alan Vega–Fly Away

Alan Vega was nearing 60 by the time he released Cubist Blues with perennial underachiever Alex Chilton and Ben Vaughn.  After years of honing his pop sensibilities, the album sees Vega return to the sprawling work of his early records.  Fly Away is a jazzy, stream of consciousness, often spoken word piece that is interested in exploring its own crevices.  While it’s become somewhat of a cliché for artists to venture into more free form explorations of music in the later stages of their career, for Vega it is actually a return to his explosive, confrontational days in Suicide.  Ideas are stretched to their limit, redrawn and re-examined.  Vega remains fully engaged too (despite the heavy sprechstimme), unlike many artists for whom “loose” ends up meaning “lazy.”  There’s still menace and meaning in the work.  It still feels vital.  That is perhaps the one thing that you could say about all of Vega’s music, no matter the style or era: it was always supremely alive.

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