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on 17 June 2010
If Slow Club's long-player disappointed, it was mainly due to its watering down of moments of indie-pop perfection with lesser retreads. Allo Darlin' have at least one foot in Slow Club's camp, but happily their self-titled debut is the more consistent. Musically light, and with a few alternating male-female duets, the similarities are nevertheless plenty.

London-based Australian Elizabeth Morris fronts the band's infinitesimally twee, but thoroughly charming, indie, and along with one fellow compatriot and two more local lads they repeatedly land soft punches somewhere between the cute jangle of Belle & Sebastian and The Shop Assistants. And it's all delivered via Morris's fragile timbre, the frailties in which culminate on "If Loneliness Was Art" when she sings, "Somehow you've convinced me that I'm pretty when I'm not".

The Allo Darlin' catalogue speaks of harmless, summery tails - exploits in Paris, holidays by Swedish lakes. Yet, Allo Darlin' are resolutely a product of the UK, and specifically the London they all call home. In the laid back "Let's Go Swimming", which details that time in Sweden, constant withering comparison is made to "All of the punks in Camden ... / all of the hipsters in Shoreditch ... / all of the bankers in Moorgate".

The bass-line borrow in "Silver Dollars" seems to belong to "Brown Eyes Girl" allowing for the album's breezy qualities to develop. There is also a seam of tristesse interwoven into the band's fabric, sometimes surfacing unexpectedly, and at other times more explicitly. On "My Heart Is A Drummer", for example, Morris takes the part of an unnamed partner answering her own questions about smoking. "Baby, my heart is as strong as a drummer" the unknown partner replies. Morris's response is to state, perhaps tellingly, that she is stronger still.

It's fair however to say that there is an element of novelty to the record as first exemplified by the band's questionable name, but also in some of the saccharine lyrics. Amid minimal ukulele and pedal steel accompaniment, "Heartbeat Chilli" talks freely of culinary coquettishness, "I was in the kitchen ... making chilli / you came in with an onion and got dicin' / it seems silly that this chilli has two heartbeats in the recipe".

Though imperfect, Allo Darlin' deliver their material impeccably, flying flawlessly in the face of the annoying whimsy to which it would have been easy to succumb.

Advised downloads: "Let's Go Swimming" and "The Polaroid Song".
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 5 January 2011
I really like 'Allo Darlin' and the references to Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura etc are well made but this Antipodean/London band are in that general area with their own sound and live they are completely different.

Fave tracks are 'If loneliness was art' which has been a single and is sublime in its imagery and haunting piano riff. I love the way Elizabeth Morris uses everyday items as comparator in her lexicon of poetic references, and this is true throughout except maybe track 8, 'Let's go swimming' which is a great summer song. The one which always gets me though is 'My heart is a drummer' which I said immediately I heard it was 'Girls just wanna have fun', but I have since learnt that this is on purpose as a tribute to Ms Lauper.

This is a great offering from a London based band who whilst they might still be learning their trade do show a promising future beckons and if 'Silver Dollars' is anything to go by (ie autobiographical as it tells of the financial woes of being in a band) then they could do with your hard earned sheckles so go on spoil yourself and get a copy.
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on 14 May 2012
This is a great album that is my favourite of recent years. Wonderful voice, lovely sentiments.
A completely uncynical and loveable album.
I can't recommend this enough.
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on 16 June 2010
Beautiful, indie pop done at it's best.

Comparison to Camera Obscura and B&S are accurate but still comes across as very original

Plus i love the reference to weezer's el schorco in kiss your lips

Amazing summer record, buy buy buy!
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on 26 May 2015
only for the super super chirpy! a great pick me up when you are feeling a bit low, love some of the referenced lyrics :) wood allen has to be a favourite
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on 2 December 2010
This cd opens with a lovely boy/girl duet but is not truly reflective of the rest of the album as this is the only track with prominent male vocals (there are some backing vocals on the last track but to be honest that is the worst track on the album) and very deep and manly they are too, somewhere in Stephen Merritt territory? Not wishing to deride the male ego but Elizabeth's vocals on the rest of the album are truly beguiling when she sings on her own. Sometimes she sounds fairly "normal" in a fairly typical indie style but occasionally she seems to be able to click a switch and suddenly produces a very tingle down the spine/sexy tone to her voice, particularily on "kiss your lips" which is a joy to listen to. The album is not remarkably new in any way but still is very engaging and you do get some lovely slide guitar to go with the melodic sunny pop on offer.
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on 14 December 2016
lyrical, witty, clever, beautiful
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on 29 August 2011
Nothing special here, nice enough lightweight summer listening, and I note other reviewers references to Belle & Sebastian, Stephin Merritt/Magnetic Fields etc. which I agree with, plus many sixties bands. Pretty derivative stuff really, nothing to scare the horses. Maybe the next album will be more original, I'd hope the twee vocals would be dropped and maybe will include more of the duets. Sadly neither of the vocals is interesting enough, but at least the duetting is a bit different.
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