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CD REVIEW

Alex Chilton: Electricity By Candlelight

by Jesse Jarnow on December 05, 2013

Electricity By Candlelight, a live Alex Chilton album recorded in 1997 at Manhattan’s Knitting Factory during a blackout, contains 45 lo-fi minutes of the late Big Star founder tossing off acoustic covers and positively glowing with laconic charm. Chilton neophytes would be better steered toward his three classic LPs with Big Star, but fans will hang on every left field pick from his expansive songbook. “We can do a lot of Beach Boys songs,” he drawls after “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” before delivering a worth-the- price-of-admission “Surfer Girl” in an aching falsetto and underscoring his point with a flawless run through Brian Wilson’s completely nutzoid 1977 “Solar System.” Who needs amps when one is capable of emitting palpable cool?

Authors: Jesse Jarnow
Artist: Alex Chilton
Album: Electricity By Candlelight
Label: Bar/None

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