Essential outsider music! Innocence & Despair compiles two private press LPs recorded in the late 70s by Canadian elementary school music teacher Hans Fenger. The album made major waves amongst record nerds when it was discovered in a thrift store by one loudmouth collector in 2000. Prior to that, it languished in obscurity for more than 2 decades… nobody wanted it because nobody had even heard of it. According to Fenger: “This was not the way music was traditionally taught. But then I never liked conventional 'children's music,' which is condescending and ignores the reality of children's lives, which can be dark and scary. These children hated 'cute.' They cherished songs that evoked loneliness and sadness.” Despite the straight-up maudlin subject matter addressed in many of these songs, the bountiful children’s voices through which the messages are transmitted lend a heartwarming quality to tunes that are otherwise heart-wrenching; check out their renditions of The Beach Boys' “God Only Knows,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” and Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” for proof. Double vinyl pressing with extensive liner notes on printed insert and obi strip, recommended.
- black double vinyl pressing
- printed insert
- obi strip
- first time on vinyl since 2001
- music label: Bar/None Records 2018
reviewed by frau farbissina 03/2018