Love is Magic (Partisan Records / Bella Union)
“Love’s a s***show that requires work. It’s not all lollipops and rainbows … and macaroni and cheese and John Carpenter. But nothing can distract from the fact that in spite of it all, love is still magic,” says queer and openly HIV-positive singer/songwriter John Grant regarding the title of his sensational new release. While his previous albums tended to lean on simple pairings of heartfelt vocals and acoustic guitar, with Love is Magic, Grant completes a kind of transition — fully embracing electronic music in its many forms.
The result is equal parts Pet Shop Boys and Bob Dylan — an unlikely combination that somehow manages to work. Lyrically, the collection mixes black humor, fear, anxiety and anger into a turbulent but ultimately riveting experience. On this front, Grant explains that “the lyrics aren’t just the doom and gloom of the past. They’re a snapshot of everyday life: the ridiculous, the pain, the deep longing.” Highlights include the ‘80s-inspired glitter/pop gem, “He’s Got His Mother’s Hips” and the tantalizing title track. If you’ve never seen John Grant live, book a ticket to a show on his extensive winter tour.
Last modified: December 3, 2018