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Fly Yellow Moon
on 5 February 2010
Fyfe's first solo album is a mixed affair in terms of sound and emotion, jumping easily through jubilant songs such as the opening track, 'When You Walk in the Room', and laments on lost love like the beautiful 'Barricades'. If you are coming to this album having heard and liked the Guillemots albums then you may be surprised as this is quite different; a collection of brilliant, yet simple, pop songs, rather than a lush experiment in creating soundscapes. The only track that sounds to me like it could have been on a Guillemots album is 'So Brand New', the song from which the album title comes.
Recorded after a break-up, it deals with the singer's feelings about the relationship. There are the exuberant high points that come out in the first track and songs such as lead single 'She Needs Me' with its soaring chorus, or 'High on the Tide', which has a lazy, laid-back summer feel. On the flip side are the tormented, introspective songs that deal with the aftermath; with lyrics such as 'love is a crippled dream', they are not easy to listen to, yet the pain often translates into something beautiful. The plaintive 'Livewire' with its finger-style acoustic guitar backing is another stand-out.
This is a strong body of work, with all tracks intelligent and well-written. The choruses of the upbeat songs are catchy and will stick in your head, while it is difficult at times to stop listening to the more introspective tracks. The joyous songs are good, but it is the quieter tracks which show Fyfe at his strongest. He has a knack of writing fantastic ballads. Yet it is this that perhaps is the downfall of the album; it feels at times that the album is mired in this melancholic, instrospective mood and the pace is somewhat similar throughout.
Despite this, it still comes highly recommend. If you can find the special edition with the bonus disc then snap it up. The extra ten tracks on this bonus disc are just as good as the standard album.