This is a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin collaboration between Tracey Anne Campbell of Camera Obscura and Danny Coughlan (Crybaby). A classic get together story, they liked each other's music then decided to collaborate. This took a number of years to sort out but they hooked up at Edwyn Collins' highland studio with the great man himself producing.
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How twee is too twee? For me the line is drawn somewhere around Camera Obscura. I quite like a lot of, say, Belle & Sebastien's songs but try me on one of Tracyanne Campbell's former bands ditties and it's more than likely I'll be as sick as if I'd just eaten a bag full of Caramac's.
Following the very sad passing of Camera Obscura's Carey Lander though, that band's activity has stopped so it makes sense that Tracyanne chooses now to do her collaborative album. It's a strange blend as she has a lovely voice but here spends her time duetting with Danny Coughlan (Crybaby) whose voice you wouldn't remember if it sang in your ear for a week. So perhaps like when Belle & Sebastien let other people sing it's only done to make you appreciate the main singer. It's like she's taunting us - you may mock our feyness but look what happens when I don't sing.
It's a series of songs that sound a little like Camera Obscura then but seemingly much more musically accomplished. 'Alabama' is one of the more upbeat moments that recall earlier classics such as 'Lloyd I am Ready to Be Heartbroken' but it is slathered in pedal steel and instrumentation that could see it playlisted on the Bob Harris show.
Look, it's not really my thing but there's some pretty sweet moments on here. I particularly like '2006' when has a melody very similar to 'Somewhere in My Heart' by Aztec Camera. There's a nice mix between these kind of heartfelt ballads and some 60's Spector-ish thump especially on 'The Honeymooners' which delights me with a Deacon Blue style 'woo woo' train sound backing vocals. If you like Camera Obscura you'll like this. No doubt about that.
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