It’s been said many times that great Art inspires a reaction and the first time I heard Scott Walker’s 1995 album Tilt I thought I was dying. Like many others I was introduced to Scott’s work through his Phillips recordings from the 60’s and until I saw the more recent documentary “Scott Walker: 30th Century Man”. I had no idea that he was still alive or making music. Intrigued, I immediately ran out and bought a copy of Tilt.
My first listen was all too appropriate. It was a gloomy New York city morning. I had mustered up the courage to get out of bed but only made it as far as the couch. When I finally flipped on my turntable I was immediately overwhelmed with a deep feeling of despair. I wish I could express how heavy and engrossing Tilt can be. It demands you approach it on it’s own terms and while it may be taxing at times, patient listeners are rewarded.
Scott’s singing is withered and raw. He tells stories like he’s receiving a vision straight out of the book of Revelation. Every sound is so deliberate, so filled with purpose, that you can’t help but be caught up in his hallucination. After my first listen I felt upset and confused, like I had heard someone whisper a dark secret that I wasn’t supposed to hear. Over time its worked its way into my short list of favorite recordings. I’ve been listening to it again the last couple weeks and am always impressed by its ability to intoxicate. Be it good or bad, you really can’t help but have a strong reaction to this recording and that’s what great art is all about!