One of the UK's most underrated yet much loved amongst those in the know songwriters Michael Head has a storied history in bands like the Pale Fountains, Shack and the remarkable Michael Head and the Strands. This is his first new material in over 11 years and it will be a joy to hear his music again. It's poetic and romantic and draws comparisons to Love, the La's and Nick Drake but with a ragged, workingman edge that ensures what he lacks in national treasure status is made up for with an enthusiastic cult following.
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 30 October 2017
I can't be the only one to be worried that Michael Head's newfound soberness and happiness (just look at that smile!) would somehow negatively impact his music. The singer has a long history of drug and alcohol abuse and a way of somehow derailing his career just as it all seems to be going right. Still, being the perpetual nearly man of British pop has ensured a cult following who hang on his every word.
For glass half full merchants like myself, there's absolutely nothing to worry about here. The opening triplet of tracks are superb and allay any fears. His music has always had a sort of sea shanty lilt - the sort of music that is heartfelt, tuneful, references the great music from the past (Love, the Byrds) but also has a sort of good time feel - as if you want to slosh beer around to it late at night whilst fighting back tears. The album has a heart of steel yet is an album of celebration and vindication. It's nothing more than a great songwriter showcasing what he does best.
Musically it sits somewhere between the fingerpicked scouse folk of his unsurpassable 'Michael Head and the Strands' album and the more grandiose arrangements of Shack. There's an extra grittiness at times but the album never succumbs to the slightly overbearing production that threatened to squash Shack's 'HMS Fable' high point. There's the odd wild guitar solo - the otherwise lovely '4 and 4 still makes 8' is rudely interrupted by one, but otherwise things are kept nice and restrained.
He's good this lad.Those lucky enough to be fans already are urged to buy it on sight. For the uninitiated think of a 'been there got the t-shirt' workingmans mixture of the Coral, Love, the Stone Roses, and the Byrds. I for one am getting it.
9/10 Jeffrey Customer review, 13th November 2017
Such sophisticated songwriting that comes closer to his classic album "Magical world of the strands" than Shack, although it satisfies both fan bases. In an era where pianos and guitars are slowly being marginalized by music more fitting for performance art, it takes a master craftsman calling on his inspirations from Jimmy Webb, Arthur Lee and Roger McGuinn to bring the boat ashore. Great songs will win out every time
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