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- Seven Dials by Roddy Frame
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 06 May 2014
Now genuinely old, Roddy Frame has been around for what seems to have been half a century. Remember that be-fringed lad singing those breezy jazzy pop songs in the early '80's as Aztec Camera? Well now his heads pokes out of the front cover as a receding, slightly gaunt middle aged man. Like Prefab Sprout's heavily bearded Paddy McAloon its odd to see their head change whilst the voice remains the same.
Unlike Sprouts majestic 'Crimson/Red' this aint no late career masterpiece but its a worthy effort with some sweet guitar pop songs along the way particularly the lilting West Coast drift of 'Postcard' which almost replicates the guitar solo from 'Oblivious' along side a slight Eagles twinge to the caledonian melody. Similarly 'Into the Sun' could have come straight off 'High Land, Hard Rain', Frame sounds incredibly youthful here amongst the jangling guitars and the chorus is a belter. 'Rear View Mirror' is a lovely piece of jazzy pop, not unlike some of Ben Watt's better effort though suffers from having a melody which exactly recalls Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida'. 'English Garden' too is a nice evocative piece. There are a few clunkers though, opener 'White Pony' is too overwrought to be enjoyable and there's quite a few slow burners that don't hit the mark.
When its good (for me, this generally means the upbeat bits) its rather enjoyable. It probably mirrors the quality of last years Lloyd Cole album. Never going to reach the level of past glories but certainly no catastrophe.
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