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- The Marc Riley BBC Sessions by Sweet Baboo
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“The sweetest baboo” Steve Black is back again this week with an album of Marc Riley sessions. The sleeve design has been creasing us up here in the office - remove the LP from the sleeve and Baboo’s face disappears to reveal Riley gurning out from behind the centre hole. Very droll. As for the record itself, it’s very likeable. Black’s songwriting is thoughtful and witty and suits the super-stripped-back man-with-guitar arrangements that dominate this collection, especially on the first side which avoids any rock ensemble work at all, allowing the drums to wait until the second side, a plugged yang to side A’s unplugged yin.
The recordings do a good job of capturing what’s so disarming about Sweet Baboo’s simple but beautifully formed indie pop songs. They’re delivered with so much heart and charm that it’s very hard not to get sucked into his wistful and very human aesthetic. Plus he closes the collection with a charmingly naive chug through Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ to leave you smiling. To be honest it’s not a great cover and does reveal his limitations somewhat, but on the rest of the album he does a good job of showing you how good he is at working within them.
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