As a fifteen year old boy in 1986, I first heard London Nil Hull Four by the Housemartins. It was unquestionably the album of the year for the vast majority of my peers. At the time, I was listening to 1950's rock n roll which I still love. I didn't need the distraction of new music and was reluctant to take on this new album.
In December of '86, Caravan Of Love hit number one and my battle was lost.
I cried when the Housemartins split in late '87 and waited impatiently until the formation of the Beautiful South in '89.
I saw the Beautiful South twenty odd Times until their split in 2007. During that time, I periodically wrote to the band, slept in unsuitable places after becoming stranded as they took to the stage late, bored my friends rigid whilst waxing lyrical about the genius of Paul Heaton and generally lived and breathed all things Heaton. In other words, you could say I am a fan.
In terms of this latest album, I bought it several weeks after its release as I have become somewhat jaded with the whole thing.
I am trying to be balanced and impartial as I type but am finding it difficult. It is a wonderful thing when your hero rediscovers his mojo and finds his way home.
This is an album of pure, energetic, unabashed joy and freedom. Heaton has located the key to the safe and has produced an album of incredible music. His singing voice is in better shape than it has been for many years and has to be heard to be believed.
In a nutshell, buy this album and embrace the genius of Paul Heaton.