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Seven Davis Jr – 'Universes' review

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There’s fine form in eccentric musicians claiming to be from outer space instead of, say, Bromley, and their work benefitting from the ensuing theatricality and grandeur. Unfortunately, such delights are entirely absent on the debut from Seven Davis Jr, one such self-proclaimed intergalactic pop alien: Universes is a decidedly earthly, loveless slab of electro funk dressed up as a live concert performed by Davis from the bridge of his intergalactic spacecraft to the people of Earth, and peppered with tortuous conversational interludes between Davis and his ship’s computer. Indeed, so tedious is Universes that even said robot loses interest by track 9, pleading with Davis to shut up and fly them home while the singer, like an overtired toddler up past his bedtime, insists on a couple more songs – and then throws in a preening “secret track” as if to assert his authority. 

It all makes Davis appear less from another galaxy and more from another time – specifically that moment in the early-90s when it was assumed the way to make house music better was by injecting it with dubious cod-hippie mysticism. Then again, perhaps the joke’s on us: after being subjected to 40 minutes of stodgy house by numbers and complete cobblers manifesting itself as transcendental philosophy, the most natural response is surely to ask what planet this joker is actually from.