Good effort, but Run of the Mill album,
This review is from: Mercury (Audio CD)
This is an album that could have reached so many but in the end, reached so few.
No doubt its tunes are infectious & carries distinctly genuine aura about them but its problems are mostly lyrical shortcomings. For instance, 'Can't Explain' begins with "You know what they say / At the end of the day / But days fade away". It's difficult to imagine song-writing more threadbare than this so please, the last thing Brit-rock needs is more Oasis-esque lyrics. Even some of the titles on the sleeve are cringe worthy; 'Falling Without You' immediately succeeds 'Falling For You', songs about boy meets girl, boy falls in love, boy ends up with broken heart, etc. Such song titles are best left to the boy/girl band genre.
Thankfully a broad range of infectious guitar and piano tunes rescues the album. 'Further' was an obvious choice for the single (back then when singles existed that is) with a doubled up vocal and a surging string arrangement backs up the chorus with magnificent effect. 'Only When You Sleep' injects pure energy into proceedings while 'Nowhere' uses another doubled-up vocal and a searing guitar solo that produces a sound similar to that of Idlewild. Another orchestral arrangement is also very apt in the pacey 'Will You Wait Here' and it marks a highlight. On more reserved parts of the album, 'If You Asked' uses a simple but effective piano tune and a sweet female hum in the background significantly boosts the song's merit. The moody 'I Would' is not without its charm as lead singer Rob McVey sings a longing vocal against a soaring guitar solo, and it's enough to overshadow the song's rather shallow lyrics.
Like so many albums from so many bands back then, it never hit the big time and arguably didn't deserve to, but it's a genuine effort all the same.