Bish Bosch - Scott Walker
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

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  • Summary: The first studio solo release for the American-born singer-songwriter since 2006's The Drift was recorded over three years.
  • Record Label: 4AD
  • Genre(s): Experimental, Avant-Garde, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Experimental Rock
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 33
  2. Negative: 2 out of 33
  1. Nov 30, 2012
    This very refusal to cohere, to make sense, to play the game of identity and otherness, of harmony and disharmony, makes Bish Bosch this year's only necessary work of art.
  2. The album is a widening and a deepening of the style we've come to expect of Walker – but it's also got elements of a brightening of that sound as well.
  3. Nov 29, 2012
    Whichever side of the fence you fall on, you'd be hard-pushed to claim there's anything else remotely like the album itself.
  4. Nov 30, 2012
    Listeners that can't stand the noise can just move on to the next pop record. Walker is in a whole different dimension. [Oct/Nov 2012, p.126]
  5. Dec 6, 2012
    While Bish Bosch may not be the most easy album to digest, it doesn't lack for talent or shock value.
  6. Dec 3, 2012
    Bish Bosch may sound a little strained at times, but it's still a big, ballsy achievement, the work of a committed artist delving further into a land of vaguely sketched nightmares.
  7. 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.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 3 out of 7
  1. 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. Collapse
  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. Expand
  3. 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
  4. Jan 27, 2014
    it's odd, I'l give you that. And horrendously difficult to listen to at the best of times, and sometimes, in the nicest way possible, a little humorous, for the odd and random lyrics and... um, noises, particularly on track 2. And alot of the tracks on this album go on a little too long than they should really, but I am not counting out that at times, Bisch Bosch can be an entertaining listen, and a pleasing one as well. But Bisch Bosch is unfortunately a bit of an unnecessary album. Expand
  5. Dec 26, 2012
    With all due respect to Scott Walker's body of work but this is the most overrated album of the year-extremely exhausting listening experience with almost none of the payoff.Hope he 'll start to write songs again one day soon instead of these quasi-avantgarde exercises in self-importance. Expand
  6. Dec 8, 2012
    Even if this record is a clever one, it is, first of all, a boring one. It is hardly possible to listen to it through at one occasion and, moreover, after one time I could not find any will to listen again. Critics have probably listened to another record. This one is really bad. Expand
  7. Feb 26, 2013
    I loved The Drift and Tilt, but this album was literally full of farting noises, yo mama jokes, and cacophonous and aimless noises masquerading as songs that sound like a Scott Walker parody by a particularly unfunny comedian. Expand