This is the second solo release from Simon Lord. Following on from his debut 'One', he has added upright bass and jazz inflected drums to his classic songwriting. As might be expected there are severe 'Astral Weeks' inspirations going on in the free-er arrangements. Lord also cites Paul Simon as an influence so what we have here is a stripped down album full of understated and literate acoustic pop. Available onm Lp and an almost unfathomably cheap CD.
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Simon Lord was one of the blokes in Simian who didn’t go on to worldwide fame with Simian Mobile Disco. Here he’s come up with an album of atmospheric semi-slick pop with warm piano chords, woody double bass and jazzy drumming. If I describe the opening track ‘Slipstream’ as sounding like Jamiroquai playing ‘Astral Weeks’ it’s going to put you off isn’t it? Ok, I won’t bother then. Its a nice track that’s kinda soulful with some really smart playing - the drums are nicely worked. The same complicated jazz-inflected drumming continues into ‘Infinity Pool’ which has the kind of simple acoustic guitar line that you could imagine some progressive hip-hop troupe sampling at some point in the future.
I’m enjoying the album, its slick, it’s smart it reminds me very much of Nick Mulvey’s better efforts. Its marvellously produced and Lord has assembled a crack rhythm section with some severe jazz influences, yet the result is highly listenable. I can also hear bits of Nile Rogers/Chic in the glistening, clipped guitar playing of ‘Hilly Fields’ and more complex tracks like ‘Palm Trees’ show a bit of Radiohead/Portico Quartet influence and show Lord can veer off in a more cinematic/electronic direction if he wishes. Mainly the album stocks to its signature sparse ‘n’ soulful sound and although it gets a bit samey and the songwriting tails off towards the end there’s plenty of inspiration knocking about, closer ‘Meet You There’ summons up the ghost of Tim Hardin, re-badged with some Jamie Lidell nu-soul ambition. If you’re wavering, it comes on an unfeasibly cheap CD version.
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