Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
A Man Alive



When an artist who has built a whole career upon their musical idiosyncrasies finally seems to hit a creative brick wall, the results aren’t pretty. Thao Nguyen’s fourth album feels and sounds like an unreconstructed musical discharge, the sonic equivalent of randomly hurling clods of earth at a white canvas. The creative contribution of Tune-Yards’ Merrill Garbus, who produced the album, can be keenly heard. Here is a similarly haphazard feel and unrefined sound.

But there is a difference between pleasingly raw, and lazily random, and at times this record feels like a demo, or even a recording of a rehearsal. Dotted amongst the cacophony are brief moments of engaging joy; the great single ‘Nobody Dies’ is a vaguely grungy gem with a superb vocal melody, while ‘Millionaire’ has the superb lyric, “Oh daddy, I’m broken in a million pieces / That makes you a millionaire.” Elsewhere though ‘A Man Alive’ is only sporadically listenable, and is far more often tiresome.

New monthly memberships available

Here’s a new thing: our membership scheme now has a pay-monthly option, plus a load of exciting new digital stuff for people who support what we do. It’s actually excellent value, honest, and will help us continue to promote new independent artists and labels.

Sign up and you’ll receive our physical magazines delivered to your door, our digital editions, exclusive podcasts and playlists and access to our EXTREMELY glamorous Members Lounge. You’ll be the envy of all your friends.