What does it sound like?:
Do you remember that lad at school? You know the one, the class clown, always larking about? The practical joker with the gift of the gab, who could charm his way out of any trouble? He loved to party, loved being the centre of attention and everyone loved him too. He never revised, flunked his exams, but dropped on by pulling the brightest, prettiest girl in the school. You knew he was going to be just fine.
Then, decades later, you bump into him at a motorway service station. Over forty minutes, accompanied by scampi and chips, you’ve heard his life story. He is battered by a broken marriage, damaged by years of addiction and grief-stricken by the loss of his children. It’s a wonder he has pulled through and managed to retain a whiff of the old wit and charm. He tells a good tale well. There is much you can relate to. You are both the same age and you share some of the same regrets. The time passes quickly and enjoyably. You shake hands goodbye. You glimpse the sadness in his eyes and worry he can see it reflected in yours.
Cathal Smyth was the nuttiest of The Nutty Boys. He used to be Chas Smash, the cheer-leader for Madness. He co-wrote some of the jollier songs. This debut solo album is introspective and painful, the tunes picked out on a piano, the lyrics ripped from his heart. He brings a tear to my eye, for me, for him and for lost hope.
What does it all *mean*?
Everybody grows up eventually.
Goes well with…
Might suit people who like…
Quiet reflection, sobriety, meditation, a gentle tune.