Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
on 31 December 2012
Back in the days of Britpop, there were a band called Gene who were loved by many, hated by plenty for, supposedly, being a rip-off of The Smiths but largely ignored or treated with indifference by most. The biggest problem about Gene is that not enough people actually listened to them, which is a crying shame, because they were actually a brilliant bunch of musicians with some killer songs. They faded away at the very start of the 21st century and became little more than the occasional feature in music magazines' "Whatever happened to..." column. I was one of the people who loved Gene. This is why the announcement of a solo album by Martin Rossiter, the distinctive singer of Gene really piqued my interest and I bought it, blindly, without knowing anything about it, other than the title. I'm so glad I did.
Without any hyperbole, this album really is one of the very best things I have heard all year. With nine out of the ten tracks featuring little more than Rossiter's voice and a piano, this could have quite easily been dull and samey. The usually brilliant Rufus Wainwright, for example, sorely tested my patience with his 2010 piano and voice album, All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu. However, Martin's songs - all of them - are absolutely magnificent, meaningful, personal, emotional pieces with the music and lyrics allowed the space to express their meaning and each track being a thing of shimmering beauty. It's very difficult to choose between the tracks, the opening track "Three Points On A Compass" is remarkable, the piano work on "Where There Are Pixels" is simply gorgeous and the bit where the band kick into life on the last track "Let The Waves Carry You" is a truly great moment, but each and every song on this album is superb. Gene certainly were a great band, but this album has become the singularly greatest thing that Rossiter has put his name to - and I don't think anyone saw that coming, apart from Martin himself, maybe...?