Chart-topping frontman, author, DJ, champion tweeter, keen collaborator, label-owner and cereal and coffee magnate. Tim Burgess is a modern renaissance minstrel who has spent much of the past two decades having men and women alike swoon over him.
Having released his first solo album, I Believe, in 2003, Tim hasn’t been in a hurry to follow it up. But he’s had excuses: The Charlatans continues to be a going concern, and real-life issues have played their part in keeping this second record on ice.
The origin of Oh No I Love You comes from when Tim carried Kurt Wagner’s guitar from a venue in Manchester to his car, and cheekily asked Kurt if the Lambchop frontman would write a song with him. Almost a decade later he headed to Nashville, and that song became this album.
Featuring members of Lambchop, My Morning Jacket and Factory Floor, alongside Chris Scruggs, R Stevie Moore, a gospel choir and string arrangements from High Llamas lynchpin Sean O’Hagan, Oh No I Love You showcases Tim’s winning way of managing to fit his surroundings perfectly.
Musically, due to the people involved, tracks such as The Economy and the superb astral-brass country of White bear a slight resemblance to Lambchop’s masterpiece Nixon, while the beautiful Hours allows Burgess to embrace the full country soul ambience with a sweet Stones-y falsetto.
A Case for Vinyl is one of Tim’s best vocals with a genuinely lovely arrangement that suggests it would work well with a lighter aloft. Tobacco Fields has him singing almost subsonically beneath portentous rumbling, and the regret of the superbly titled The Great Outdoors, Bitches shuffles along on a bed of trombone, conga and drum machine.
You feel Burgess’ enthusiasm for the project shine through. Oh No I Love You is a warm affair and a slightly more together reflection of Tim than I Believe was, and the accompanying remix album with cosmic re-works by the likes of Seahawks is a bonus too. This deserves to find itself in as many homes as possible.
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