3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
From strength to strength,
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.