Television Personalities My Dark Places

There’s a fine line between nonsense and art and over the course of 29 years, Dan Treacy has often walked that line. As the founder and brains behind the inimitable Television Personalities, Treacy has recorded some of the most bizarre, unlistenable and brilliant pop songs in the last three decades, which have the knack for leaving even his biggest fans puzzled over his wide, uncanny scope. His first album in eight years (due to a drug conviction that led to time in prison), My Dark Places is an outrageously incoherent record that somehow uses its contradictions to its advantages. Accompanied by former Creation Records signee Ed Ball, Treacy opts for his usual lo-fi methods of recording, bringing out a real amateurish quality that well suits his childlike persona. He wanders in and out of genres, attempting and nailing old-time rock’n’roll boogie with a naïve charm on "Velvet Underground,” and then ventures into an ominous universe of dance music for the sad "You Kept Me Waiting Too Long” without hesitating. Treacy’s at his best though when he recalls his past glory years, like on the noisy, stomping pop of the "Frere Jacque” chorus-stealing title track, and the beautifully understated "No More I Hate Yous.” It’s a trying record, no question, but patience will reveal My Dark Places to be an album full of exquisitely vulnerable pop music that is as delightful as any Television Personalities record from the past. (Domino)