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Richard Morrey

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Pram Town
Pram Town

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From strength to strength, 11 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Pram Town (Audio CD)
I have a long-standing personal tenet that good concept albums are good despite the fact they are concept albums. This has held up well for me over the years but Pram Town is that rarest of beasts: a concept album the concept of which actually adds to, rather than detracting from, the music and the overall experience. This is partly because the concept is so simple and emotionally powerful - two convergent narratives of disappointed optimism; one about a relationship, the other about town planning. It is a good test that you can actually understand and follow the concept from the music alone (more or less). This would mean nothing of course if the songs were rubbish. But this is Darren Hayman so the songs are excellent from start to finish. They range from the funny and touching ("Room to Grow", "Amy and Rachel"), through wildly infectious ("Compilation Cassette", "Our Favourite Motorway") to sad and moving ("Out of my League", "Leaves on the Line"). What they have in common is a sure melodic touch and an impressive lyrical subtlety and coherence.

In short if the Mercury Music Prize 2009 judges were true to their artistic pretensions Pram Town would have been a shoe-in.

See You After The War
See You After The War
Price: £14.45

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very English Band, 14 Nov. 2008
This review is from: See You After The War (Audio CD)
The older I get the more English I get, and this is a very English Band. At first "See you after the War" does not sound perfect: some of the melody lines are a bit too obvious maybe; the odd lyric grates a little. But as John Peel understood very well (and far too many music journalists fail to understand) music is not about perfection - it is about how it makes you feel. As I drive home from work through the countryside, with the sun setting on the horizon and this album playing, I feel happy to be alive, happy to be English, and very very happy to be a Decoration fan.

Secondary Modern
Secondary Modern
Offered by groove_temple
Price: £8.97

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as ever., 18 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Secondary Modern (Audio CD)
Doesn't look like anyone else is going to review this so I suppose, at the risk of appearing a Hayman obsessive, I am going to have to fill the yawning gap. This album is something of a return to the Hefner style circa We Love The City only with more instruments and better lyrics. It thus represents the ideal chance for those misguided souls who lost the faith during or after Dead Media to come back to the fold. There is nothing as good as "Good Fruit" here but there are 12 excellent songs that I defy anyone not to like.

The Complete BBC Peel Sessions
The Complete BBC Peel Sessions
Price: £9.80

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Collection, 16 Jun. 2006
For the uninitiated this release represents amazing value. Many of the best songs by perhaps the most underrated band of the past ten years. Imagine a Pixies/New Order highbrid evolving into late The Flaming Lips, but with better songs, and you have some idea of how good The Delgados actually were. This collection illustrates that transformation brilliantly, and if you like it there is plenty more on the albums to look forward to, including such treats as "Leaning on a Cane", "Coming in from the Cold" and "American Trilogy".

For the initiated it is very welcome sugar on the bitter pill of the band's split last year. The early songs sound better than you remember, the songs from Hate and The Great Eastern sound just as good without Dave Fridmann's production, and the cover versions are a hoot.

A fitting tribute to both the band and, of course, John Peel's ears!

Table For One
Table For One
Price: £11.39

5.0 out of 5 stars The best thing he has ever done?, 22 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Table For One (Audio CD)
I agree with the previous reviewer with all matters except the quality of the track "National Canine Defence League", which I think is one of the stand outs.
In fact, having listened to this album every day for over a month now, I can't find any song which is anything less than excellent, and my favourites change from day to day - a sure sign of a winner.
This all makes me think Table for One may well be the best album Darren Hayman has ever recorded. It is certainly up there musically with the first three Hefner albums, but with, er, subtler lyrics.
In short I would be surprised if there is a better album released this calender year. It is that good.

Price: £8.23

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is very good indeed., 25 Nov. 2005
This review is from: CORTINALAND (Audio CD)
Darren Hayman was the singer-song writer at the heart of Hefner, one of the best British bands of the last ten years, and The French, who released one of the best albums of 2003. So why doesn't he sell more records? Why haven't Amazon or any of the major music monthlies or newspapers that I have read even reviewed this release? Baffles me, but not as much as it does him I'm sure!
He is far too great a talent to be allowed to disappear into obscurity, especially when still on top form as he is here. I recommend this EP to anyone who appreciates a good song.
See also the 7 inch EP Caravan Songs which is even better.

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