What does it sound like?:
A buoyant and tuneful pop album! For those unfamiliar with Ayres, well I won’t blow his cover but he is a regular here and frequently espouses affection for the Beatles and all manner of similar poptastic acts. The opener, “I’m in love with my producer” is redolent with open eyed vintage rhymes, harmonies and a classic 60s pop vibe. “Garrick Bay” has a darker slightly folky vibe which is a nice contrast, showing off Ayres’ really rather good voice. “Little Jesus” sounds like the mood has shifted to the 70s with some accomplished lead guitar. This would have gone down well at the Hope and Anchor back in the day. Similarly, “Chickadee” has a tougher rock edge. “Timeless Wonder” has a great vibe, sounding urgent and hooky in the chorus. “Everything I want you to be” is a Badfinger tinged ballad straight out of 1968 with a deep reverby snare drum to add to the effect. “Theme from Mike Channel” is an instrumental, back to the early 60s with a fairground vibe bringing back the smell of the oil on the dodgers and freshly popped corn.
On a critical note, this album suffers from the absence of a producer (as do many 14 track albums). A harsh producer might note that a few tracks sound a bit like each other, so pick the best one. Some tracks are more like demos – decent songs, but maybe better to re-record to good technical quality (low level distortion creeps in, vocals/instruments could be clearer)? Is that phasyness an artistic statement, or a bit of dodgy mixing? Jimmy Iovine would certainly have cut it back to 10 killer tracks. But hey, that’s what playlists are for, right? Anyway, what does Jimmy Iovine know?
What does it all *mean*?
Well, I’m not one to talk, regularly inflicting music on the world which it never asked for and maybe doesn’t even want, but for those who feel a burning desire to create and share their own music I salute you. “Bedroom” produced music is probably the majority of what comes out these days anyway and whilst the limitations of the facilities can often be plain to the ear, I love giving these efforts a spin. Some stick, some don’t. Without being pretentious (well, maybe a bit) if people didn’t make art because they have to, rather than because someone bought it in advance, we would have very little art. Then where would we be?
Goes well with…
Where do you consume your pop music? Play it there. It’s not a “gazing into the fire late at night with a peaty treat in a glass” album. But neither is “Abbey Road”.
Might suit people who like…