Barfly Embedded Review

An extremely positive review of “Embedded”.

Author: Tony Hillier.

Date: 8 April 2004.

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Mark Seymour is best known for his role as frontman in the much loved Hunters & Collectors (1980-1998). Songs he wrote for that legendary band, such as ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ and ‘Holy Grail’, have earned an indelible place in the pantheon of Oz pop. But there is plentiful evidence to suggest that Seymour is an even better songwriter and singer these days, and that Embedded, his new solo album, is his magnum opus.

Embedded, Seymour’s third excursion sans Hunna’s, is his most lucid and eloquent work to date, in this reviewers opinion. Thematic, it takes the listener on a journey into the Australian burbs, stripping the veneer of I’m Alright Jackness from comfortable middle class existence to reveal a different and dark kind of great Australian dream, a confused and dark underbelly. The quiet despair is perfectly reflected in the chorus of the potent and poignant Waratah Street And everyone’s talking / nobody’s listening / everyone’s busy/ and nobody’s thinking / I’ve got some ideas / but I cant stop drinking / Nobody’s listening to me. There’s an admirable directness and lack of pretension in Seymour’s lyrics, yet they build up a picture that’s full of vivid imagery.

Seymour’s scenarios come encased in the most gorgeously melodic wrapping heard since Crowded House called it a day. Indeed, the latter’s drummer, Paul Hester, appears on one of the stand-out tracks, In the Kitchen of a Perfect Home. Seymour’s singing in the aforementioned and in Out of this World and Paradise Downunder is as sweet as Neil Finns. Long-time H&C fans will probably find more familiarity in Shoulder to Cry On and ‘Try Not To Try’.

With its instantly catchy, hook-laden tracks Embedded is an album that should take Mark Seymour back to the top of the album charts. Commercial radio stations please note: its quality FM listening