on 6 November 2011
This is a great album with an appeal that sadly will probably not be reflected in sales. What will it take for this guy to shift the units he deserves? I'm not going to go down the "shadow of you're gorgeous" route, because I love that song too. Somehow Babaybird just doesn't seem to get there, when all sorts of rubbish (Britain's got X Factor dancing brother rejects) shift millions. It's not fair.
That said on balance for me Ex-Maniac is just that bit better, the highs just that little bit higher. But this is a cracker of an album, a proper album that grows on you slowly and creeps into you conciousness more and more with each play. Buy it!
on 4 November 2011
If you like 'ex-maniac', you'll love this. Great to see Stephen back after such a short interval, with this Lp picking up nicely where 'ex-maniac' left off.
As ever, the melodies are sweet and lyrically Stephen does his old curmudgeon / old softie thing beautifully. Don't be put off by those who say this doesn't compare with his earlier work; it does.
In fact, I'd say it was up there with his best. It's nice to see Mr Jones back and seemingly in a very happy place.
on 19 December 2011
Perhaps not as instant as Ex-Maniac, TPOSD is another great Babybird offering full of catchy melody and witty story-telling.
Stephen seems to be writing this one from a different place: he's happy, positive and in love. And 'love' is the foundation and reoccurring theme of the entire album; in fact the word itself pops up in his lyrics every half a minute or so.
'Your love it saves me from all the things that enslave me. All the stuff that made me go a little crazy'
That's not to say it's all Me, Me, Me. Opener 'Jesus Stag Night Club' tells a tale about a messy stag night involving someone in fancy dress who appears to actually BE Jesus (!), 'Can't Love You Anymore' is about a couple contemplating dying in a car crash and questioning where it all went wrong, while 'Song For The Functioning Alcoholic' is an honest anthem on addiction, self-loathing and the true meaning of happiness.
'I love you, you love me, just please let us be the kids that we once were when we were free. Now I'm crucified to a Christmas tree in the shopping mall...'
I find the studio work and production methods a lot smoother and bolder on this record. Probably the most varied sound-wise since There's Something Going On.
Keep up the great work Stephen and Babybird. One day you'll get the recognition deserved.
on 31 October 2011
I've always thought that the way in which Babybird have seemingly fell under the radar since 'that hit', 'You're Gorgeous', back in 1996, is one of music's great shames. When I heard the news that Stephen Jones was recording once again, I was both excited and apprehensive. Babybird's previous effort, 'Ex-Maniac', was good, but, in my opinion, left something to be desired. I felt it didn't really explore Babybird's full range, and potential and was somewhat linear.
'The Pleasures of Self Destruction', however, doesn't leave anything to be desired. It's quite simply exquisite. Jones is back at his very best. He's a natural songwriter. Lyrics ooze out of him. He's the lyrical genius responsible for lines such as "He drowned his step-son in the duck pond, let the wife beater out to make a pop song" and "Run me a bath, then plug me in, I'm like a TV, learning to swim", in previous Babybird efforts and he's back to it here, with some hauntingly good lyrics.
The album's opener 'The Jesus Stag Night Club' is a cracking way to begin things, an impetuous piece filled with silky lyrics. Other highlights include 'I Love Her', a catchy slow sing-a-long that will have you hooked from the first listen, more reminiscent of the songs found on 'There's Something Going On'. This track is followed by 'Not Love', without doubt one of, if not the, strongest song on the album. Plenty of hooks, with Jones hitting the notes you expect him to, with staggering accuracy. It just works. 'Can't Love You Anymore', perhaps the most polished and easily accessible tune on the album, with its crashing chorus, is clearly the lead single if there were one. '[...] is more similar to the songs found on 2010's 'Ex-Maniac', with Jones using his tremendous lyrics to challenge modern issues, "He chats as he types, wears a mask when he skypes, breaks into your house, gets in through your mouse" without it coming across as some form of rant, but just more exceedingly good music.
This is one of those rare gems of an album, that really doesn't have a weak song, which is quite a feat considering there are 13 pieces on this album. Yes, there are strong points, as mentioned above, but every song is thoroughly enjoyable. Where this album really excels is its bringing together of the very best of Babybird. The album has songs which bring together all the greatness of their previous albums and wraps them into one 50 minute piece of musical genius. It may well be missing the mainstream pop sensation that was 'You're Gorgeous', but Babybird have never been about that.
'The Pleasures of Self Destruction' is certainly one of Babybird's very best. Its happy, its sad, its thought-provoking and its quite simply superb.
on 13 November 2011
Got this yesterday, for me it has instant appeal which is unusual for BabyBird and I find the second and third tracks having a more poppy sound.
As said before, why oh why does BabyBird not get the following he deserves, probably because he gets no airplay. Come on 6!
on 18 July 2012
Ive always had a soft spot for Stephen and Babybird. Saw them live in Norwich in the 90`s and they rocked..
My children are all grown up now and when they were young they loved the Ugly Beautiful album. This album is full of good pop songs with Stephens wry humour running through them.
Its my favourite Since Theres Something Going On, its that good.
Highly recommended, give it a try.