15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A real Jammy Dodger,
By A Customer
This review is from: Fat Chance (Audio CD)
As the brains behind the Beautiful South, PdH was always going to have a hard act to follow in his solo incarnation, and comparisons with TBS are inevitable. Of course, lyrically he is almost peerless, to my mind the lyrics are paramount when listening to a Paul Heaton record, as the jaunitiness of the tune can often decieve. I would place him in the category of (an altogether happier) Nick Cave, or Ian Curtis. The problem is that he does not dress his lyrics up in metaphor, they are blunt, yet cut like knives, and that can cause some critics to miss the subtext of many songs.
This album sounds like The South crossed with The Housemartins in places, noteably 'Man, Woman, Boy, Girl', which is also a prefect example of the lyrical bluntness ('Every man in this world thinks hes got a big nose / or a slightly under average sized knob'). The album has sold poorly, due to, I believe, several things. Firstly there was more pre-release publicity for the last Freddy Kruger movie than this album, and it was probably easier to get hold of a signed first edition of the Bible than 'Fat Chance'. Also 'Mitch' was not the best song on the album, that is definitely 'Poems', and the vocal on the single was probably not distinctively Heatonesque to many radio listeners.
The sound of the album does confuse, as there is nothing here that could not be done on a TBS record. When I heard Heaton was doing a solo album, I thought it would be mining his soul influences, not going down the pop lane again. That said, if this were a South album, it would rank as one of the best, up with 'Miaow' and 'Painting it Red'. Heaton deserves all the credit and praise in the world for this album, as far as biscuits go, this is a Jammy Dodger, far more tasty and filling than the boring old Digestive Creams in the charts at the moment