A Proper State
The title track and dominant recording on Leon's 2008 album, "A Proper State" clocks in at eight and a half minutes. The song is really compiled from two sections, starting with a gentle introduction which recurs as a linking passage between the main verses, in which we find Leon almost rapping, in front of an automated percussion track (Fiz Shapur's synthesiser) in one of his most radical departures of style. There are three character portraits: John Smith, who just wants to be famous; Betty Ball, lost in a world of fashionable consumerism; and Cynthia Flower, addicted to cosmetic surgery. All three are clearly consumed by media illusions and a belief that they are fundamentally lacking something - and all three come to a sticky end pursuing their false dreams. In this context, Leon's use of synthetic instrumentation - pop music-like - is highly appropriate.
Version 1 (2008)