No one can tell if it will be his last album but 'The Drift' could be perceived as the final part in Scott Walker's challenging trilogy; a journey which has seen each of three parts separated by over a decade. 'The Drift' is the one which sticks closest to an avant garde/classical style. So whereas 'Tilt' showed evidence of listening to contemporary artists of the time (Nine Inch Nails, Portishead), 'The Drift' is free of modern reference points.
Understandably, now well in to his sixth decade, Walker's voice isn't the all-conquering instrument that it was and the music, though dramatic, is subtly appreciative of that fact. Indeed, Walker sounds more haunted more than ever as he howls "I'm the only one left alive" on the bleak 'Jesse' which sees Walker imagine the conversations between Elvis Presley and his stillborn twin brother. 'Clara' is based on the death of Mussolini's loyal mistress Clara Petacci whilst 'Buzzers' uses the reign of the Milosevic presidency as its "inspiration". So once again, it's a brave work both lyrically and musically. The sticking point is that it's an album to be endured rather than enjoyed as one doomy ballad follows another. Although forever associated with being a tortured artist, Walker's early albums were always imbued with a sense of beauty, euphoria or even comedy but here the shafts of lights to break the gloom are as hard to find as those on the bloodied and blackened album cover. Ultimately, it's a gothic and worthy piece of work but once which will prove just too challenging for most people.