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Album review
Q Magazine (UK) Issue no 164, May 2000
Frontierland [album info]
Hot 1058 CD
Starstruck [album info]
Hot 1064 CD
Live! [album info]
Hot 1070 CD
Trio of '90s releases from ever-profilic ex-Saint and Laughing Clown.

Brisbane's doleful-voiced Edmund Kuepper has been making great albums in various guises for a quarter of a century. His best moments occurred over a series of mid-'80s solo records, but his '90s output continued to intrigue and occasionallly enthral. 1996's Frontierland is a smorgasbord of Beatles-ish melody (All Of These Things), banjo stomp (Fireman Joe) and acoustic blues (M.D.D.P. Limited), all wrapped up in Kuepper's darkly literate lyrics.

By contrast, '97s Starstruck is a collection of musical fragments created for real and imagined soundtracks which veers effortlessly from the odd and dissonant to the grandly Morricone-esque.

1998's Live offering replaces the man's trademark semi-orchestral sound with a bareboned rock three-piece. Blustering versions of Electrical Storm and Honey Steel's Gold get bludgeoned to within an inch of their lives, yet survive on the strength of undeniably great tunes and the singer's palpable charisma.

*** (All three albums got 3 out of 5 possible stars, equals "Good. Not for everyone, but fine within its field")

Review by David Sheppard


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