1001 Albums You Must Die Before You Hear #59 will have you in stitches

1001 Albums You Must Die Before You Hear

#57: Daryle Stephen Ackerman – Attention To Detail (2006)

MATT KELLY digs out an album that will have you rolling on the floor in the pain of uncontrollable laughter. Or not.

Can an album title make an album worse? Well, when you call an album Attention To Detail, and then that album features the rarely-seen-but-always-amazing UNINTENTIONAL TIME SIGNATURE CHANGE (it’s in the intro to ‘A Better Man’ where the harpsichord riff demolishes the beat the drum establishes) you might think the piss is being taken.

Indeed I wondered whether Ackerman is actually Adam Sandler in character doing a Kaufmanesque prank. There’s not a lot of information available about Ackerman – I never even heard of him until this was passed to me by a fellow scholar of terrible records – but this one and only album contains some astonishing moments.

‘Hillary Tuck’ is unmissable, with tuneless dirgey vocals professing Ackerman’s love for the actress (I hope she took legal action) and the way it just keeps plodding on becomes indescribably funny, especially on the grammatically accurate chorus.

“I’M IN LOVE WITH HILARY TUCK

YES HILARY TUCK IS WITH WHOM I’M IN LOVE”

And then he starts doing a falsetto towards the end and it’s even funnier. Because although Ackerman is an incompetent keyboardist and drummer, his singing is the star of the show. As soon as opening track ‘Gave It My All’ staggers out of your speakers with its wonky out-of-tune bass, Ackerman’s weak, weedy voice will make you lose all hope.

And WHAT THE FUCK is that guitar doing in the background of ‘Tear My Heart In Two’? It legitimately appears to be someone playing the guitar for the first time and tentatively plucking notes in the wrong key in a fashion which would make The Shaggs blush.

It’s a shame because to be fair, Ackerman doesn’t seem too bad as a songwriter. Given a decent producer and a different vocalist, I could imagine material such as the moody ‘The Mississippi Flows’ being a nice piece of sparkly, adult contemporary synthpop. Unfortunately, Ackerman’s inability as a performer mean the tunes don’t stand a chance and ATD’s only appeal is as unintentional comedy.

 

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Matthew Kelly is the most important person in the music industry – the type of obsessive nerd without whom it would have no reason to produce box sets and nine-hour long documentaries.

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