“A Working Museum” is Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby’s third full length album as a collaborative couple and as the name implies, the kickstarter-sponsored album is a curated exhibition of pieces reflective of growth points in the two artists’ careers, a theme which allows their strong storytelling talents to shine.
Song by song the pair lyrically illustrate narratives that are sometimes whimsical, sometimes dark and regretful, but always informative about their growth as artists and as a couple.
The 11 tracks on the album range from, ranging from the dreamy “Tropical Fish” which feels like an ethereal rock n roll treatment of the Sound of Music’s “A Few Of My favorite Things” to “Zero Minus One” which is a bit of a dirge with its dark plodding beat and talk of eclipses and mercury draining from scientific tools.
Two songs that highlight the collaborative aspect of album offer two different points of view on the birth of romantic relationships (presumably the one between Eric and Amy). A rail against a world where that stomps on opportunities and individuality with the incessant responsibilities of work and conventional living, in “A Darker Shade of Brown” Eric dares the object of his affection to throw caution to the wind and convention, if only by degree. While on one of the album’s best songs “Do You Remember That?” contrasts the desperate tones of “a Darker Shade of Brown,” with a nostalgic pop ballad about a relationship building over time from fan/artist to much more. Delivered with a great self-effacing sense of humor, when Amy asks “Together we were crap. Do you remember that?” it rings true to both artists history.
Other notables include a requiem for the 70s and 80s punk and new wave scene “1983.” With its marvelously spooky backing vocals and power pop style guitar breaks, Eric draws a vivid picture of himself in a nightclub listening to Kajagoogoo, begging for a comic book thought bubble asking “Really? After all I’ve done these past few years,THESE guys are famous?”
“A Working Museum” capably runs through the full range of earnest introspection and does a fantastic job of blending Amy Rigby’s jangly pop folk sound with the manic pacing Wreckless Eric Fans have come to be accustomed to over the past 35 years. It’s both smart and goofy. Whistful and brooding. Resigned about the past and and yet eager for what’s yet to come making me hungry for what’s next!