There were intermittent soundtrack and score contributions of varying magnitudes, as well as a couple other low-key projects, but The Drift is Scott Walker's proper follow-up to 1995's Tilt, an album that also happened to trail its predecessor by 11 years. If 1984's Climate of Hunter put the MOR in morose, Tilt avoided the road completely and went straight toward the fractured, fraught images inside Walker's nightmares. It was entirely removed from anything that could've been classified as contemporary. The Drift isn't an equally severe leap from Tilt, but it is darker, less arranged, alternately more and less dense, and ultimately more frightening. Maybe it'll make your body temperature drop a few degrees. Working with what Walker has referred to as "blocks of sound," only a few of the album's 68 minutes have any connection to rock music, and many of those minutes are part of a harrowing 9/11 song that also obliquely references "Jailhouse Rock" as Elvis Presley cries out ("I'm the only one left alive!") to his stillborn twin brother. The songs swing from hovering drones to crushing jolts.
This 7T's two-fer combines two albums Mud released at the tail-end of their career – 1978's Rock On and 1979's As You Like It, adding a couple of bonus tracks for good measure. Mud's prime didn't last long, and these two records definitely arrived outside of it, just as the glitter fad was winding down, much to the blissful ignorance of Mud, who tried to carry on as if nothing had changed. This is the most painful on Rock On, where the oldies covers – "Walk Right Back," "Cut Across Shorty" – are silly and anemic, where they're paired with oddities like the mock-reggae of "Slow Talking Boy," a spangly overhaul of "Drift Away," and the turgid ballad "Too Much of Nothing."