Boomkat Product Review:
Scott 4 is one of those albums that gets touted as one of the very best ever to be made within the parameters of popular music, and it's an accolade that's richly deserved, even if in certain quarters Scott 3 is regarded with greater affection.
Scott 4 was the first Scott Walker LP to feature nothing but songs penned by the artist himself. Gone had the Jacques Brel reinterpretations of the earlier records in favour of a more singular, resolutely personal vision. Oddly, for all its brilliance the album was largely overlooked by the record buying public, who failed to lap it up in sufficient numbers to get it in the top ten.
I suppose that's what you get for writing songs about Neo-Stalinism, Ingmar Bergman films, and quoting Albert Camus on the sleeve. The Scott Walker of the sixties is of course a very different artist to the one who currently stands at the pioneering edge of contemporary experimental music, and the lavish orchestrations of Scott 4 are a million miles from the overwhelming elliptical brilliance of 2006's The Drift, but the same levels of compositional and lyrical excellence - not to mention ambition - are evident throughout Walker's solo work.
It hardly needs to be said, but Scott 4 is one of the very greatest achievements in this artist's forty-something-year-old recording career, and can not be recommended highly enough.