Jay Reatard Singles 06-07

The precursor to the forthcoming seven-inch compilation that will arrive in September via Matador, Singles 06-07 collects Jay’s various limited edition singles in and around 2006’s Blood Visions LP. Since most of these have been out-of-print since their release, this is a generous gift from Mr. Reatard (especially considering the bonus DVD filled with raucous live sets and a great Dutch interview), who oversaw the remastering. The scope of the material seems a little ambitious but the prolific Memphis garage rocker is known for being a workhorse. While the production varies at times, Jay veers all over the place. Forthright about his decision to try different styles, he and his Boston Chinks can go from bloodcurdling glam ("It’s So Useless”) to robo-punk ("Night of Broken Glass”) to ’60s pop innocence ("Don’t Let Him Come Back”) at the drop of a hat. Overall, Jay Reatard’s consistent in his quality. Since going "solo,” he hasn’t yet released a stinker, as demonstrated here, leaving one to think either the dude isn’t human or he’s just that gifted. Let’s hope the inevitable fame won’t burn him out. (In The Red)