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It's that guy from The Coral Neville Skelly and he's done a second solo album. I've been reviewing without looking at press releases for most of the week but as we draw up to the final breathless few my resolve has cracked and I looked at the press release of this one. Needless to say I'm glad I did, otherwise I certainly would not have realised that this mumbly David Gray-esque folkpop was in fact "A compelling album to savour" full of "original songs that all have the sound of timeless classics" (I think that means they sound like they were made in the '70s) thanks to Skelly's "innate sense of 'the song' at the forefront". I mean look at it.
That's not to say there's anything much wrong with this album, it's quite pleasant folky pop that's for the most part reasonably understated and not as bloated with its own self-importance as the press release might suggest, although the vocals are very high in the mix which I'm finding a bit distracting. The arrangements are nice, though, and Skelly does have a pleasant voice, generally finding a pleasant spot somewhere between Tom Petty and Van Morrison but occasionally straying into worryingly Springsteen-esque pomposity.
In its best moments like penultimate track 'Walking In The Shadows' it's simple, earnest folk-pop with understated slide guitar and piano and a mournful bar-room bluesiness to it, at worst it's dreary and ponderous. I'm not convinced it's the masterpiece the press release claims but it's not a disaster either.
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