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There are albums that seem to sneak out with a slight air of suggesting you shouldn’t make too much of this, it’s a between-things thing. Certainly, something of that vibe surrounds the release of B.E.D. A cursory listen does little to dispel this idea, as Dury intones over minimalistic old-school hip-hop beats provided by French producer de Crécy. Initially at least, only the vocals of Skinny Girl Diet’s Holliday seem to offer any warmth or texture. Yet listen again, and an altogether stranger and more subtle album starts to emerge; a song cycle offering, in Dury’s own words, a “confessional narrative” where it’s never quite clear what the singer might have done – although Paris and, at a guess, a doomed romance are heavily involved. Yet for all that it evokes seediness, regret and resignation, B.E.D never makes you want to lie down in despair, principally because Dury’s wordplay (he’s especially good at list songs) lightens the atmosphere.

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