Mark Nevin is an accomplished songwriter, beginning his career back in 1989 as writer and guitarist with BRIT Award winning band Fairground Attraction, collaborating with Kirsty MacColl, scribbling tunes with Carole King and Ringo Starr, and writing extensively with Morrissey on his Kill Uncle and Your Arsenal albums.
His first album for almost a decade and third solo album, if you're familiar with Nevin's previous stuff, you'll know the drill with this; driving melodies and self-deprecating lyricism in a distinctively British narrative style combined to create a robust yet humble snapshot of real life.
Yes, more of the same but this one is different. Stand Beside Me In The Sun is the boy from Ebbw Vale's most personal work to date; an album full of personal moments, from reminiscing about seeing his future wife Louise on her Suzuki Savage to sitting in a pub watching football with Muswell Hillbilly Ray Davies.
Highlights for me include the Lennonesque Oh Mama and the stirring lyrics of Ghost of Summer Past, which attains a multitude of contradictions; cheerful rocksteady simplicity with nostalgic solemnity that is as ecstatic as sober can get.
"It's not far from the cradle to the cemetary" sums up Blood, a poignant melody inspired by Nevin's son Wes, an accomplished frontman with London indie rock trio Let's Wrestle.
Justifying his absence from the scene for 9 years, Nevin says: "I've been right out of the loop doing other things, and every now and again a song would pop out of its own accord. This is a collection of those. I did music because I loved music, and I continue to do it for that reason."