Having adored Terry's earlier album Home (another five star release), I bought Laugh the day it came out and loved it too. But today, I listened to it all the way through for the first time in a while, and it really struck me all over again what a total work of melancholy genius it is. The melodies are enchanting, the lyrics heart-wrenching and beautiful - I was blubbing by the first chorus of the first track (again...), the production wonderful. I really can't understand why Laugh is such a little-known gem, as it's so lovely, honest and truly superb.
This album is so special.It was apparently written as a response to the breakdown of Terry;s marriage and this is some result. Touching beautiful songs,wonderful harmonies..I still havent stopped playing it yet... a song for every bitter sweet mood Essential!
If you only thought Terry Hall was about the Specials/Colourfield/Vegas etc. and never really paid him much attention (I never did), then you're in for a real treat.
These songs are staggering in their quality and breadth of vision. I 'stumbled' across 'Ballad of a Landlord' and after 45 cynical seconds I was floored.
Such unbelievable growth over the years from someone who I now realise is a true artist. Am kind of kicking myself for having left it so late to 'discover' Hall, but now I have it feels as if an essential part of my musical life is fulfilled.
His voice now throws out a power of feeling and soulfulness that was somehow never there before in his earlier spells with poppier outfits -the lyrics dryer than a lost summer you yearn for when no one's looking ; it's fair to say that I couldn't hold back when listening to these songs. They carry you to a time when the radio played the kind of songs you'd record onto C90's, almost bursting with excitement that you could listen to those precious gems over and over again.
Most of all this album transcends genres. I listen to wildly different music (mainly experimental/industrial/electro)but this just bypasses labels and preconceptions and goes straight to the heart. If you don't believe me then Youtube 'Ballad for a Landlord'...listen to it three times: see if your world has changed just a little bit for the better and then hunt, beg, borrow or steal this CD.
This is the second solo album from Terry Hall and is yet again is packed full of brilliant songs such as 'Love to See You', ' Take it Forever' and the sublime 'Summer Follows Spring'. This album is full of gorgeous harmonies as well as beautiful musicianship and is quite quirky in places but it always has Terry Halls' trademark vocal. The guitar playing by ex-Smith Craig Gannon (who co-wrote and co-produced ) is stunning as are the drums by Robbie Williams drummer Chris Sharrock . If only he would have followed it up with more as the world is lacking in classy songs like these. Buy it, you won't regret it.
`Laugh' is the perfect sequel to Terry Hall's previous album `Home' building on that flawed masterpiece to produce the most perfectly realised album of his entire career. It is the album everyone hoped Terry would make after The Colourfield debut `Virgins and Philistines' employing the same melodic touch to indie rock.
As before Terry's song writing is at his best and his choice of collaborators seem to create a perfect whole with none of the songs either raising or lowering the standard and even the Todd Rundgren cover `I Saw the Light' not appearing out of place.
Picking favourites on such an album is always difficult but singles `Sonny and His Sister' and `Ballad of a Landlord' do perhaps come out best on the first album Terry has taken a lead in the production of. Universally recognised as a perfect return to form it was perhaps of no surprise that Terry instantly broke up the band and once again drifted off the radar.
This album is beautiful and moving,Terry`s vocals are exquisite,the lyrics touching and the production is great."Ballad Of The Landlord,"and "I`d Love To See You,"are my own personal favourites,but each song has it`s own merits.Beg,borrow or steal it!
Stunning album, and nothing less than I expected from a singer/songwriter who is far too often overlooked when the plaudits are being dished out. I'm not ashamed to say that he's been my idol since his time with The Specials, and fans of Terry's will know what I mean when I say that this album is 100% undiluted Terry.... so buy it, you will not be disappointed!