By Simple Kid
I was disturbed when I received this CD through the post. Not by the cover or the content, but by what it said on the label stuck to it. 'Like Badly Drawn Boy, sketching with different crayons' X ray 4/5. Disturbing to me, due to my dislike of Badly Drawn Boy.
But, track one, 'Hello' seems a good way to start your debut album, with a nice bit of slide guitar and bouncy electric noises, evocative of the style of Gomez, but I'll take the opportunity here to say; Simple Kid is a one-man band. He plays guitar and harmonica and has a beat box of tricks and samples. His voice is not amazing but the man can sing. 'Staring at the Sun' begins with chords with the same energy as the song 'The Bends' by Radiohead. I cringed in preparation for a parody of the Radiohead song but was pleasantly surprised as these opening chords were where that similarity ended. It's a quirky, up tempo song for a sunny day. Lyrically, this track is not political or life changing in anyway, but I can identify with the lines 'don't let your e-go' and 'I read a lot of books that I don't understand' which most students can smile wryly at.
'The Average Man' - the song that made me buy the album. I thought this song would be at home on Beck's 'Mellow Gold' due to its distorted slide guitar and general steady pace. A catchy, quirky track. I may misinterpret the mundane lyrics but I find them sarcastic and amusing.
'Drugs' has a sample that sounds like the main keyboard part from 'Superstition' by Stevie Wonder, plus a vibe of travelling on an old-fashioned steam train through the Wild West. The opening bars give you a clue that this is going to be a good song, and I was not disappointed.
'Supertramps and Superstars' is very Beatles with double bass, jangly chords and organ music. Even the vocals are sung in The Beatles style.
I have used many comparisons in this review but I don't mean to give the impression that this album is unoriginal because it is something new and different. It isn't over glossed with production like much modern music making for an ambient, anthemic and refreshing album with an amusing sarcastic edge.