Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Scout Niblett - I Am

Scout Niblett – I Am
Secretly Canadian, 2002
Acquired: Lawrence Antique Mall, Used, 2007
Price: $5

I bought this because it was cheap and I had heard of Scout Niblett. I'm sure I'd heard her before this, but hadn't recalled anything I'd heard. It was a safe bet, and cheap, and it had that song Jens Lekman covered, “Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death” for some Secretly Canadian comp. Mostly this sounds like it's trying to be lo-fi and what I noticed is that she comes off as a sort of female Daniel Johnston wanna be with more mid-90s guitars. If you listen to “Fire Flies,” you will notice that the vocal line is stolen note for note from Johnston's “King Kong.” It has its moments, though, this record. I mostly think it's kind of boring, and I think that the cover looks like the yearbook photo of a mentally retarded person (you know what I am talking about), which doesn't effect my critical judgment of this record, but does add to my annoyance which was first sparked by not being able to figure out which was Side A and which was Side B (I've previously stated my annoyance at this, because seriously, COME ON). Mostly all the drum beats sound the exact same or they sound really “crazy.” This whole record sounds pretty contrived, actually. Steve Albini is the engineer here and you can really, really tell. Adversely on the throwaway “Texas” and best on “Drummer Boy.” Mostly this just sounds like some weird performance art shit. Like some chick trying to freak people out with weird rhythms and yelping into a microphone. I guess I just really don't like this record. I did learn that Scout Niblett is English, which I did not know before. Mostly, I just hate this record because the sides are not clearly demarcated. Just kidding. Ok, partly. But the fact that this record was pretty bland made me regret the time I spent trying to figure out which was which.


  1. Hey.

    Wow. I couldn't disagree with you more. I Am is actually one of my favourite albums of all time. To each their own, huh? Anyway, what do you plan on doing with the record now? Keep it even though you hate it? Or maybe sell it off or give it away?

  2. Also, I saw you mention Steve Albini on Joanna's Ys post; did you know he produced this record too, along with her other album Kidnapped by Neptune? :) I think he did great, especially in capturing that spontaneous, live quality of Scout's performance. But anyway. :)

  3. It's very much a personal taste sort of thing. I know it's got its merits, and I know people love Ms. Niblett, it's just not for me. I mentioned Albini in the Newsom write-up, and I think I might have cross-referenced it with this one because I think he's generally pretty rad. Though this record didn't really set well with me. I'll pry end up selling it down the line...or very soon actually.