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The Television Personalities 

My Dark Places

Wednesday, Apr 5 2006
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The Television Personalities' Dan Treacy has maintained a devoted cult following ever since his band's 1978 U.K. hit "Part-Time Punks," repeatedly offering wonderful collections of shambly punk, giddy modish pop, and harrowing psych-folk. Much like his hero Syd Barrett, however, Treacy eventually succumbed to drugs and mental instability, dropping from sight in the late '90s only to turn up on a prison boat outside London in 2004. Written during his confinement, this album — recorded with longtime collaborator Ed Ball and others — sounds just as schizophrenic as you'd expect. Treacy's voice is even more gruffly fragile than before, perfectly suiting rambling couplets about ex-girlfriends, pills, and his deep, dark depression. While much of the music is similarly bleak and fractured, with sputtering feedback and melancholy piano threatening to dissolve into chaos, there are several jaunty numbers that offer respite from the gloom, including the Jonathan Richman-esque "Velvet Underground" and "She Can Do Magic," a resolutely chipper ode to female charms. Caught between a rock and a hard world, My Dark Places isn't the easiest listen, but it's certainly a welcome one.

About The Author

Dan Strachota

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