This is the way I'd like pop music to sound in my ideal world: where I am the ultimate Alpha male, I'm dating Kate Moss, and I invented the word "subwoofer". Cracked Record is intriguing yet equally warming in a very immediate way. Listen up Keane, this is how you use a piano.
"Casanova" starts off like some cheesy eighties keyboard ballad but suddenly morphs into a jumpy pop jaunt, that slips back and forth into flowing bridge sections. It's infectious, slick and just the right length to take you along for the ride without feeling sea sick. More jazzy, and creeping in approach "nine fifteen" erupts a bit then creeps again, then erupts again, and so on. The vocals are somewhere between the Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy) and, err... Axel Rose. There's some neat falsetto thrown in for good measure too. Hmm, how do I follow the such a random and helplessly vague description? ...
Fairground sounds. I love fairground sounds, and there's a lovely fairground interlude in "Hit Reality" which matches a squirming verse with a huge portion of pomp in the chorus. The CD ends with its title track which is fantastically camp in a very show-song way. The chorus makes you picture the lead singer in a full tux and monocle dancing on a table with can-can girls behind him. It all feels very tongue-in-cheek and it's great fun to listen to, but if you don't like the sound of a pounding piano this is going to annoy the tits off you.