The cottage industry that is Bill Nelson has produced another bumper collection of songs. This time just a double CD. Well, compared to the recent 6 CD collection that is “Noise Candy”, this album seems scant in comparison, though it does contain over 40 original songs. “Whimsy” sees Bill utilising his digital recording equipment for the first time and this results in a much more detailed and open sound than on previous albums, though the vocals are too far back in the mix for my liking. But, all musical life is here in Nelson World. The songs are as catchy and as stylistically wild as always. I do love what he does and his recent albums of guitar instrumentals show that he is as inventive and original as ever. The news that he is putting a band together is very welcome indeed, after so many years ploughing a solitary furrow. He is one artist that truly deserves to be more widely appreciated. This album sadly will probably not further that cause, but it’s a more than worthy addition to his extensive catalogue, most of which needs to be remastered and re-issued.
The ever-prolific Mr Nelson's latest album is a magical selection of songs. Following on from the vast 6 CD Noise Candy release comes Whimsy. Recorded in Bill's digitally upgraded home studio it is a bright and breezy 2CD collection of 40 tracks. There's so much going on in each track that, at first, it's a little hard to take it all in. Multiple Keyboards and Guitars fly around Bill's vocals and samples and initially it can make your head spin. On subsequent listens however it all sinks in. From the beauty of songs like 'Slumberlite' and 'Here We Go', through the fun of 'Magnetism Made Me Do It' and 'The Fundamental Blues', all the way to the epic 'Over the Moon' and final cool instrumental 'Close Your Eyes'. This is a great collection of whimsical summery sounds. Nothing too serious here and that's fine by me.
This is Bill Nelson at his best... the sound is so rich and full of texture... there is lovely guitar work (the guitar on 'Showtime' has just made me shudder and in the same way that 'Crying to the Sky' makes my spine tingle every time I hear it!)... a great feel..... dreamy and warm music with a smile on its face. Very mature but not so wide of the mark that it wouldn't be out of place gaining air play here and there and 6 Music and Radio 2 should be listening and playing. And an appearance on Later with Jools is long overdue... OK, I'm not someone that would ever say he'd heard a duff Bill Nelson track even if I had (which I haven't ever) but this sounds like he's found a new lease of life, been given some new toys, found some old ones as well and is enjoying playing with them all. Happy music that is going to be on the digital equivalent to my turntable for a while to come. Five stars.
I've been enjoying Bill Nelson's music for many many years now, ever since the days of Be-Bop Deluxe and their first album "Axe Victim". His music and creativity never seem to stop developing, and every release is to be savoured, enjoyed and appreciated. "Whimsy" is another great collection - eclectic, innovative and immensely pleasurable to listen to. Check out the "Noise Candy" 6 CD box set and you'll hear the full spectrum of his creative output; over 7 hours of music, and I defy you to find one track that you can even start to think of as "filler"! There's a challenge.
I loved the work Bill did with BBD, however the Red Noise era put me off and I lost Bill over many decades. I bought this with not too many expectations of a BBD vibe, and kept an open mind. Now, there are some real song gems here, but they are few and far between, honestly folks. The occasional guitar flourishes are beautiful, and Bill's fluid lead breaks have only got better with time. But the artificial keybord sound and excessive cheery nostalgic vibe have put me off, also Bill's vocals are too low in the mix. This is my first Bill Nelson solo effort, so please forgive me if I am speaking unfairly to other fans. I love his romantic and nostalgic stance, but the album needs a few more songs like 'showtime' and 'over the moon', which I really do enjoy.