Jay Reatard

Jay Reatard

Jay Reatard

Matador Singles ’08

Matador

Before being assigned this singles compilation, the only thing I knew about Jay Reatard is that he seemed to be in an unofficial competition with Billy Childish and that guy from Guided By Voices to see who could put out more records. After listening, I totally see what all the fuss was about. Thirteen songs, all around two or three minutes, all catchy as hell. I find it hard to believe these records came out of contemporary Memphis; if they were included as lost demos on a Buzzcocks or Television Personalities CD, they wouldn’t raise an eyebrow. The songs are refreshingly lo-fi (although that could be unintended, I only got a download copy so I have to listen to them through my tinny laptop speakers rather than the car or stereo as God intended), and the last three songs, which are mostly acoustic and keyboard-based, sound like lost Tall Dwarfs songs, only minus the homemade percussion.

Matador Singles ’08 is a refreshing antidote to professionalism and boredom in music. It’s a great bunch of simple, catchy songs that sound almost effortlessly thrown together.

Matador Records: www.matadorrecords.com

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