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The Television Personalities - My Dark Places

The Television Personalities, My Dark Places

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 1 out of 5

THE Television Personalities is the brainchild of Chelsea resident, Dan Treacy, who produced his first DIY-single as far back as 1977. Since then, he has been credited with being Kurt Cobain’s favourite band, as well as the inspiration behind Creation Records.

There are even those that hail The Television Personalities as the original Babyshambles (or Streets for that matter). Yet after listening to the new album, My Dark Places, it’s difficult to comprehend why Dan attracts such widespread acclaim.

At best shambolic, at worst just brain-achingly amateur, this tedious collection of 16 tracks proved a real ordeal to get through.

Dan obviously thrives on his DIY sound which makes every track seem ultra-raw. While in terms of content, the lyrics are brutally honest and frequently hard-hitting. The album isn’t called My Dark Places by accident.

As such, it could also count as quite a depressing listen, no matter how hard the artist tries to mix things up with some odd melodies and rhymes.

Velvet Underground, for instance, draws on the ‘don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me’ rhyme, setting it against a lively piano shuffle. But Dan’s own vocals bring it down a notch and turn what could have been a lively effort into something quite onerous.

Ex Girlfriend Club is a sloppily constructed insight into failed relationships that feels like its been thrown together – it’s devoid of any melodic structure, doesn’t make much sense lyrically courtesy of lines like ‘rub a dub, rub a dub, welcome to my ex-girlfriend’s club’, and goes on for an eternity.

Dream The Sweetest Dream drops in some female vocals that recall The Streets’ Dry Your Eyes and is one of the album’s better efforts, but You Kept Me Waiting Too Long is another dull effort, set against a dull and basic dance beat.

Some tracks aim to toss in some English eccentricity with stabs of the national anthem, for instance, while there’s a Brit-pop/Graham Coxon vibe to She Can Stop Traffic, with its thrashing guitars and punk attitude. The inclusion of some female vocals works to its advantage.

But such moments aren’t enough to save the album from its overall shoddy quality. My Dark Places is therefore best left in a dark place of its own.

Track listing:

  1. Special Chair
  2. All The Young Children
  3. Sick Again
  4. Ex Girlfriend Club
  5. Dream The Sweetest Dreams
  6. Velvet Underground
  7. My Dark Places
  8. I’m Not Your Typical Boy
  9. You Kept Me Waiting Too Long
  10. They’ll Have To Catch Us First
  11. She Can Stop Traffic
  12. Tell Me About It
  13. Knock It All Down
  14. I Hope You’re Happy Now
  15. No More I Hate Yous
  16. There’s No Beautiful Way To Say Goodbye