After releasing six albums with his band, Elbow, including the Mercury Music Prize winning The Seldom Seen Kid (2008), Guy Garvey sets out alone with Courting The Squall. The album was made simply because Garvey loves making albums (and has recently split up with his wife so will be dead bored - ed). Nevertheless, it’s still a deeply felt personal statement and serves as a glimpse into his very being.....(and his enormous chin- ed (again)).
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You won't need us to review this as all you need to do is to tune into 6 Music at any time day or night and you'll hear Guy either singing, talking or being talked about. The relentless promotion of his work by 6 Music continues in such a shameless fashion that I genuinely wonder if they have even noticed that they are just repeating the unbearable chumminess of your '70's Edmonds/Lee Travis/Powell triumvirate. What is even more remarkable is that Guy is no musical genius. At best he's an affable bloke, at worst a crooner of dreary endless ballads that would appeal to anyone who find Coldplay a bit challenging.
This as least an improvement on Elbow in that it tries to push the envelope in a few directions and doesn't just rely on soggy ballads. His lyrics are fairly interesting but his voice grates on me so much that I simply have to turn it off after about 3 seconds. As I've said before it's huskiness somehow brings back a childhood memory of being sick in the back of an Austin Maxi. This would all be fine if I could get on with my life and Guy could get on with his. Unfortunately I am subjected to his music every time I turn on the radio. Following his needless guest appearance on Radcliffe and Maconie last week I gave 6 Music a wide birth for a few days. Yesterday morning I decided to go back only to see the sign pop up on the digital radio screen..."Now Playing: Guy Garvey....".
You couldn't make it up.
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- Courting The Squall by Guy Garvey
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