I have, through foul means, come into possession of a copy of the new Titus Andronicus album, THE MONITOR. While very much a sequel to the previous record (THE AIRING OF GRIEVANCES), it has ambitions all its own. Someone’s been listening to very early Billy Bragg a lot, for instance: the song "Richard II" has the shreds of the Bragg song "Richard" embedded in it, and the final track opens with classic Bragg-style narrative songwriting and percussive guitar.
But the most pleasurable surprise on this entertaining record is the piece called "…And Ever," a reprise, late in the album, of a refrain from the second song on it, "Titus Andronicus Forever." Because, for absolutely no reason at all, they redo that refrain as a bit of crackling old-style rhythm and blues, complete with boogie-woogie piano.
And you know what? It just makes me smile.
THE MONITOR is released on 9 March 2010. And this is "…And Ever."[audio:http://www.warrenellis.com/pirates/09%20…And%20Ever.mp3]
(mp3 degrades after 7 days, up for review purposes only, contact warrenellis [at] gmail dot com if you need it removed)