Had I not picked up Noir's first full-length LP, "Tower of Love", and thought I'd take a punt at it, I'd almost certainly never have owned this album. It's a pretty modest package, and its release seems to have been even lower-key than with his first effort. Noir still seems to be firmly situated well below the proverbial pop radar.
Which is odd, because this record is utterly brilliant from start to finish. Arguably, this is a more well-rounded effort than his first - though this was also fantastic - and the increased use of synth-effects has been neatly pulled-off to create real sonic interest around his catchy pop tunes. Noir's trademark harmonies are in place throughout and also on top form.
Cheery, summer tunes like "all right" and "same place holiday" are matched by the more ominous, but equally enjoyable, sounds of "ships and clouds" and "look around you", perhaps more introspective efforts than we'd have heard on the last record. Lyrically, Noir's juxtaposition of the humdrum, the "day by day", and his own expansive sound works incredibly well, mixing tales of holidays in a "forest in North Wales" with the pure escapism of his spacecamp-tinged "welcome commander jameson" (and its later reprise).
All in all, a superb effort and fully deserving of five stars in my opinion. Noir may stay out of the mainstream, but for as long as he's putting out albums like this, "don't you worry".