My album of the year so far, admittedly in a (so-far) quiet year.
I'm probably with the majority of delgados fans in rating Emma Pollock above Alun Woodward. Not that it is or should be a pssng contest. And whilst I thoroughly enjoy Watch The Fireworks (which rocks out a lot more when played live), Lord Cut-Glass's debut is astonishingly good.
Hard to put my thoughts into print, though the headline is that this is a quirky album. Not quirky in the sense of Ween where the listener either 'gets it' or doesn't; more that it is a modern album that sounds like it was made a lot earlier. Think Scott Walker's Montague Terrace from a time when England were World Champions. At football.
Lyrically, Lord Cut-Glass's debut is both clever and cynical; the latter point poignant for most UK residents today. Musically, it is far more accessible than say, Hate; very melodic and somewhat jaunty at times. Whilst Alun's vocals might not be so strong as Emma's, such qualities have never been a barrier to success. Think Blur, where every line of every song was either spoken or shouted.
If the great Peel was still with us, I'd be very surprised if 'Picasso' wasn't at the top of his Festive Fifty this year. This track truly is this good and is especially enhanced by Emma Pollock's backing vocals. The rest of the tracks don't quite reach this standard, though are generally upbeat with clean accoustic guitars and well-arranged strings and horns.
Anyone who shares my disgust with the lack of imagination at Glastonbury 2009; on the TV as I write this: [Neil Young, Springsteen, Madness, Tom Jones B O R I N G] would be wise to check Lord Cut-Glass out. And Michael Jackson? He's dead. Get over it.