Baxter Dury – “It’s A Pleasure” – Across The Ocean

Baxter Dury – “It’s A Pleasure”

With his deadpan cockney vocal delivery and cheesy keyboard noodles splashed over a backbone of repetitive drumbeats, Baxter Dury delivers to us his fourth solo release, It’s A Pleasure.

Baxter-Dury-It-s-A-Pleasure

Is it a pleasure? Well, in it’s own unique way, yes. Lo-fi and minimalistic, his ridiculously nonchalent vocals do require a bit of adaptation. Every song revolves around non deviating drums which form the canvas for his story telling. Along the way their are keyboard and guitar flurries that weave in and out adding some quirky flourishes.

Pleasure‘ and ‘Palm Trees‘ are undeniably catchy as we are immediately introduced to the exsquisite backing vocals of Fabienne Debarre, who provides an almost comical contrast to Dury’s laidback style.

Debarre takes the lead in ‘Other Men’s Girls‘, hooking us in with the innocuous revelation of “I don’t wear make up”, repeated frequently to drive home the point.

Two of the album’s highlights occur back to back. ‘Police‘ (“did you call the police again, was it your boyfriend trying to help you out of trouble?”) is a tale of domestic violence, followed up by the somewhat creepy ‘Lips‘. Equally unsettling and amusing, there is something oddly endearing when Dury sings “I think her lips are close to mine”. This leads into the record’s most straight up rock moment (‘Whispered‘) which sees some impressive lead guitar work. Is there a sampled dog bark in there as well? Possibly. It does seem like the kind of record where a dog barking in the background could be utilised as opposed to being viewed as a hinderance.

It’s A Pleasure is an at times awkward journey. You can almost envision the man recording his vocals whilst distractedly trying to watch the footy. Despite this the songwriting is strong and the honest carefree approach makes for a fun listen. It can be initially difficult to decide whether you like it or not, but to be confused like that is actually a thing of rare beauty.

Gavin Stocker

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Outside of Across The Ocean Gavin Stocker writes, records and performs music under the moniker of P Truck.

He can also be found clinging to his youth on a skateboard or wandering aimlessly through the bush.
Gavin Stocker