A Kickstarted album if there ever was one, Lawrence Arabia’s Singles Club was a fan-financed project to release a digital single for every month of 2018. Lawrence Arabia succeeded, writing and recording 12 songs, released now as an album. Each one showcases the wide range of his style, from orchestral indie-rock to laid-back melancholy songlets.
Vinyl LP £18.49 HBED006LP
LP on Honorary Bedouin.
CD £9.99 HBED006CD
CD on Honorary Bedouin.
Ooph. Just look at him. James Milne is bold. Not just with the moustache he's sporting on the inner sleeve but with the fact that he launched a Kickstarter so he could record these songs and that he contacted Sir Van Dyke Parks to play on it. It sounds a lot like a kind of bucket list but the good news is that he's come out with some fairly interesting music. The plan was that he would record a digital single each month and then compile them and what this does is give a kind of mix tape element to the album, each track being a snapshot of where Milne was at the time.
The overall feel is of sophisticated 60s orch pop - Everything's Minimal is so sophisticated that it perhaps should be wearing a cravat but this is the sort of sound that will appeal to fans of the likes of Saint Etienne and the Divine Comedy. Let's just say that there is lots of harpsichord. Everytime you think Milne might get bogged down in a kind of pleasant but mid paced balladry, he pulls a rabbit out of his hat. One Unique Creature threatens to just slow may day down a little too much but it's followed by some fuzzy kraut pop in A Little Hate which takes (sorta) the riff from the Skids Into the Valley and applies it to a delightfully melodic kraut stomper. It's good stuff, the nature of the recording process may mean that we're subject to Milne's whims but more often than not they are good ones. On Cecily he sounds just like the Lily's which pleases me a lot. If more people sounded like the Lily's then the world would be a lot less rubbish place.
A record that is both unusual in construction but extremely listenable I feel that Milne is onto something here.
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