04 January 2016 (released)
12 June 2016
Robert Nix music is nothing if not divisive. Those who are infatuated with the kind of quirky, flatly-sung songs from the likes of the Talking Heads or Frank Zappa, Nix is your man. His atonal delivery and at times spastic songwriting is definitely an acquired taste. The creativity is overwhelming, with a steady beat rarely lasting more than a few bars. This music requires active listening and a thirst for the weird. 'Once in a Blue Moon is Nix's fifth studio album.
Robert Nix sounds like a mad scientist's inner dialogue. The stop-start vocals, darting quickly in different directions mimicking a mind of very short attention. The would-be mission statement opening track and lead single, 'Won't Go With the Flow' features a simple mantra of rebellion. Nix should have chosen the following track 'Once in a Blue Moon' as the lead single as it offers more polished lyrics and better songwriting.
'Time To Make Up Your Mind' gives you a little more to grab on to. A simpler acoustic number, Nix takes on a medieval tone with vocals reverberating as if in a castle tower. A flute is a sole accompaniment to this ponderous tune.
What Will You Do (Out of School)? was an especially hard listen. What I'm sure was intended as his spin on a letter to his child, in the style of Cat Stevens' 'Wild World', lacked both the melody and the eloquence of the seventies hit. By the time the final track, 'Can't Get to Sleep' rolls around, the singing has lost its charm which is a shame because this final song offers the most interesting musically progressive parts on the album.
In the end, there was just not enough to grab on to in order to sustain my attention. Vocals that seemed inventive to begin with grew tiresome after a few songs and the interesting nature of the instrumental elements was overshadowed.