Arthur Russell, Springfield

Andy Battaglia

By Andy Battaglia

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Disco’s lost superstar gets found once again.

Among the most bumptious and thwacking of the many Arthur Russell gems exhumed in the past two years, Springfield is anchored by a title track that carries lots of weight but trades in marks of ineffable finery just the same. Busy breakbeats and synthesizers splash over parched electric cello and processed trumpet, all while Russell sings “I've never been kissed” in his uniquely sad and celebratory falsetto. This is the Russell of '80s: New York dance clubs with dark corners and spinning disco balls, which the production duo DFA surprisingly tone down in a subdued remix that goes deep and mystical. Elsewhere, “See My Brother…” offers a new (and remarkably house-y) spin on the Russell classic “Let's Go Swimming.” “Corn #3″ is all warm keyboard chords and celestial cello, while “Hiding Your Present from You” makes a strong candidate for Russell's most hands-down beautiful song with its breathy vocal melodies and melancholy flirtations.