Jad Fair and Norman Blake last worked together in 2003 on the Jad Fair & Teenage Fanclub album, Words Of Wisdom And Hope. Musically, Yes is more in the vein of Teenage Fanclub’s hook-laden guitar pop than the jarring stabs of Half Japanese, but Jad Fair’s very own vocal stylings and lyrical craziness remain intact. A marriage made in heaven.
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 07 May 2015
Jad Fair has made some impenetrable records over the years but here he has teamed up with Teenage Fanclub man and professional Bill Gates lookalike Norman Blake for an album of sweetly naive pop songs.
Blake’s background in melodic catchy guitar pop ensures that the music is a smoothly tuneful paste for Fair to deliver his nasal, scattershot vocals. This, I guess, is why collaborations like this work - without Fair it would be just another guitar record, without Blake it could be scratchy and difficult. The two complement each other nicely especially on tracks like ‘Two Hearts Together’ where an upbeat vaguely R.E.M- ish track lollops along nicely. I’m also enjoying the sunny funk of ‘Your Smile’ with chattering guitars and chirpy percussion. It’s not all sweet guitar pop though - ‘Now Is Your Time’ is built around plucked banjo and plinky piano and ‘Add Your Name’ has a drifting country-ish stagger.
There are loads of guests, Bill Wells, Isobel Campbell, Duglas T Stewart and loads of people I haven’t heard of all pop in for a tinkle. Overall, a sunny and fun record of laid back pop.
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- Yes by Jad Fair & Norman Blake
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