Customer Review

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ...Dermot O' Leary proclaimed "genius"..., 20 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Until the Traffic Stops (Audio CD)
I know that I can be a bit vague from time to time, but I'm pretty sure this album came out ages ago. However, it seems to be out again, accompanied by a downloady single thing which plucks 'My Word What A Mess' from the bosom of the family, and lets it loose upon the world.

Now I'm not sure what Mr Cornish can take from anything I have to say. After all, he has been acclaimed as a "genius" by that well known musical arbiter and doyen of plastered on sincerity, Dermot O' Leary. So to say I feel superfluous would be an understatement. However, I'll stick in my tuppence ha'penny worth nonetheless.

First up, he's a liar. The obligatory, interesting back story claims that he gave up a highly paid City job, to flee London for a bedsit in Edinburgh, where he lived the life of a starving artiste, sacrificing financial reward for artistic integrity. Well, I'll have you know there are no bedsits in Edinburgh. We don't allow that sort of thing or, indeed, those sorts of people. So file that one with the JK Rowling story, under myths and legends.

But you've got to have a story these days, as no-one is really interested in music anymore, it's all "what story will you tell on GMTV / The One Show" instead. Oh, hang on, I've just read the press release and I was right, this is a re-release, of an album he put out on his own label back in 2007.

So, what's it all about. Well, it's pretty basic singer / songwritery stuff, but with a dark and bitter twist that appeals to the misanthrope in me. Which is a good thing, as I'm not a big fan of life and whatnot. He's a good singer, with a few unusual intonations and exhortations, something that will definitely help you remember him, instead of going "oh, you know, that bloke. Sounds a bit like the other bloke, the one that did whatsitsname. Oh, you know".

And the songs are, generally, worth listening to, as he indulges in some fairly adventurous arrangements for a man of his ilk. And he doesn't tuck them away at the end of the album, when most folks have stopped listening. No, he does it right at the beginning, the cheeky rapscallion. You're also unlikely to get bored, as it's no man and his guitar malarkey. Instead, he throws trombones, Hammond organs, kettle drums and live monkeys into the mix, aiming for something that will stand the test of time. Or at least the duration of the album.

I tire easily, so favour the shorter songs, so nipped off to make a cup of tea during the likes of 'Untied', and there are also a few moments where he drifts desperately close to Keane territory, causing brief bouts of panic and a search for the emergency exits, but he manages to stop himself before it all goes horribly wrong. But when it goes right, as it does on 'Counting Chimney Pots', 'My Word What a Mess', 'The Trouble I Am' and others, then it's a sound well worth getting into.

It's a 3.5 actually, but Amazon don't do halves.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 May 2009 21:06:50 BDT
R. Callow says:
Alex is the younger brother of one of my best friends - I know he qualified as a lawyer and worked with a high profile firm for some time so I think the term "liar" in reference to his background is a bit strong. I know nothing of the type of accomodation offered in Edinburgh. I am very impressed with his music and hope to hear him live when he comes down South again.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Sep 2010 21:29:38 BDT
One of the guys I work with used to live opposite JK Rowling in a Leith tenement block. She is now a multi-millionaire, my workmate drives a van for a living, so I don't think her rags to riches story if much of a "myth".

Posted on 14 Sep 2013 11:01:37 BDT
BrynG says:
The "liar" call is just unnecessary; especially as I think the review is otherwise very fair, and a lot more interesting than most you can read on Amazon.
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