Bish Bosch - Scott Walker
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 26
  2. Negative: 6 out of 26

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  1. Dec 13, 2012
    An album that has made this year completely worth it in terms of music. It is an elegant painting, with Scott as the artist. Lyrically, the album is extremely comprehensive. Don't expect to understand these lyrics unless you're well read. Even if you aren't well read you can just as easily look up the various unfamiliar terms and references Scott makes throughout this masterpiece. The music, however, can easily be appreciated through analysis of it's complex composition and unique use of various instruments. The percussion is especially of high quality here, and while many people were worried with Scott's use of various synthesizers and heavy guitar riffs on this album, they work great. The strings, as usual, are fantastic. This album is worthy of carrying the name "Bosch" as it's title, it is a portrait in itself, various pictures and images of humanities tyrannies, sins, and addictions. Scott shows us how it really is, in a cynical manner to be expected of the man who once sung songs about Gonorrhea and Dictators. The images and pictures may seem disconnected at first, but much like Bosch's paintings they come together to form one beautiful piece. Expand
  2. Dec 4, 2012
    He has broken the cycle. It is only 6 years since The Drift, 5 years earlier than expected. It is monumental, difficult, demanding, baffling, impossible and opaque everything to be expected from a Scott Walker record. It is also wondrous. The fact is exists and is released is incredible. I could give it 0 or 10, but it has to be a 10, because it must be heard at least once.
  3. Jan 9, 2013
    Some seem eager to dismiss Bish Bosch as trite and pretentious. But this album is hilarious as much as it is disturbing or nontraditional in the context of popular music. I think it fits well in the Walker canon and shows compositional and lyrical continuity with his body of work, even early songs like Plastic Palace People and The Amorous Humphrey Plugg he wrote on 'Scott 2' from 1968. Granted, the humor found throughout in the lyrics and musical juxtaposition is not the same postmodern smirky sort more typical to today's popular music idiom (save maybe Zappa). But Walker's humor and crassness, alternately veiled and explicit, is in a vein related to continentals like Brecht, Weill, Brel, Heiner Müller (or Satie's occasionally obscene piece titles) and even the dirty puns of part-time ex-pat Cole Porter. I wouldn't want to predicate evaluating or enjoying this album on trying to decipher if it's a put-on, a prank, or "Art," which ultimately doesn't matter. Listen at face value. Enjoy the rich helpings of words, puns, jokes, and sounds. The album is well recorded. The musical textures and timbres are rich. Even when the music is sparse, the atmosphere is thick--he previously studied classical and contemporary music and Gregorian chant. His previous 2007 ballet composition "And who shall go to the ball?" is also a worthwhile instrumental listen. Walker's performance on Bish Bosch is expressionistic and theatrical. It evokes word and sound collage images of pain, cruelty, irrationality, and banality, in addition to being very, very funny. Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 33
  2. Negative: 2 out of 33
  1. 30
    How anyone outside the walls of a mental asylum could genuinely enjoy the annoyingly repetitive industrial drum-throbs, aimless experimento-guitar crunches and lyrics about "reeking gonads" that characterise songs called things like 'Epizootics!' is beyond me.
  2. Jan 2, 2013
    Bish Bosch is as much about challenging the people that absorbed and accepted Tilt and The Drift as it is challenging the rest of the world--and while that makes it consistent with all his work since Nite Flights, each subsequent album giving his fan base another hurdle to overcome, it also gives it a thrill that's unique to both his discography and the majority of the music you could compare it to. If, indeed, there is any.
  3. Dec 20, 2012
    Bish Bosch is a wilder, more scattered (and scatty, in the case of Epizootics!, ten minutes of sax-driven jazz which could almost be seen as accessible, if it wasn't so dark and threatening) work than its immediate predecessors.