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8 out of 10
The best pop albums are the ones where you have clear variety composition yet each track sounds distinctly like the band, regardless if it reminds you of another band or not. ’Surely this is missing the point’ I hear you cry, amongst a thousand personal insults, ’surely the point is that the album is enjoyable?’ Whilst I’m not actually disputing this, I do find that variety helps an album along immensely, making sure it doesn’t sound like the same track stuck on repeat.
Hoodoo 50s have certainly managed to pull that off, their new album Smorgasboard being an aural delight. So what if six tracks in you can hear Mike and the Mechanics and a few tracks after that you can hear the Cure, the band always sounds like themselves. So, aside from an unmistakable sound what do you get? Variety, that’s what. From the keyboard dominated roots of ’Just About Pap’ to the serious mature pop of ’Falling’, from ’Feeling Bright’ with it’s Keene like trappings to the rhythmic Indie rock sound of ’The Funk Song’ with it’s Robert Smith style vocal and the disco rock of ’Cacti’. And the great thing is that it doesn’t sound like a jumbled pick and mix bag, which is often the problem you have with an album like this (See the review of Edgar Winters ’Rebel Road’). To be honest this album should’ve been released on a label earlier in the year as it would of made a good summer soundtrack for a lot of people, as it is this is a self-release by an unsigned act and why this isn’t coming out on Parlaphone or Rough Trade is beyond me.
In all it’s a fantastic release and, whilst not pushing many boundaries, the mix of styles makes you wonder what the band will bring in next. Well worth picking up.
4. Unspecified Sexual Practices
7. The Funk Song
11. Just About Pap
12. Feeling Bright