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February 06, 2005

遅れて知ったマンチェスター・ムーブメント 「Us And Us Only」

UsAndUs 今までも何度か書いたが、90年代の流行は追っかけてなかった。90年代も終わろうかと言う頃、そんな私の職場に15歳ほど年下の同僚が出来た。年甲斐も無くKula Shakerが好きだと知った彼は、私に90年代UK、特にマンチェスター・ムーブメントについてレクチャーしてくれた。出張に行く車の中に、彼の持ち込んだMDが増えていき、最初に気に入ったのはPrimalScreamだったが、ほかにずっと耳に残った曲があった。
 それがこのアルバムの1曲目「FOREVER」だった。
 ハモンドオルガンのロングトーンの中、ハットを刻む音がフィルインしてきて、そこにベースのフレーズが唸りを上げていく。やがてハモンドの音がノイジーになってきてシンセが絡みだす。その後ドラムとベースがリズムを確立させるとバックにかすかにギターのアルペジオが聞こえてくる。イントロから3分弱たってやっとボーカルの登場である。その間も基本的には同じフレーズが繰り返されていく。いやぁ、何度聞いてもかっこいい。
 シャーラタンズにあってはこの曲は異質で、これ以前はもっとロックぽかったし、最近はダンサブルだ。でもこの曲にはプログレっぽさを感じるし、最初期のJOURNEYをも連想させる。でも私はこの曲が好きなのだ。この1曲だけのためにCDを買ってしまったほどだ。
 しかし他の曲が駄目だと言ってるのではない。「Impossible」のようなアコースティックナンバーや「A House Is Not A Home」のような骨太ロックロールもかっこいい。

 実は車の中で何度でもこの曲を聴いていたのに、あらためて心に響いたのは広島かどこかのショップでBGMに流れていたのを「これって、どこかで聞いたことがあるような…」と思ったとき。あとで同僚に尋ねたら「多分これでしょう」とこのアルバムのMDを流してくれた。つぼにはまるときはそんなもので、何気なく耳に入ってくるときにアンテナに反応してしまう。
 そこから「The Charlatans」のアルバムを揃えてきた。でも、この曲以上のインパクトはまだ無い。

 (定番度 50%)

 Us And Us Only - The Charlatans CD/MP3
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