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Grace - Poppy CD (album) cover





2.78 | 15 ratings

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3 stars Poppy, by Grace, is a good solid album with twelve decent songs. I'm not sure that it's terribly progressive, but it contains good melodies, lively beats and catchy instrumental riffs. Perhaps it is a bit twee and old-fashioned in places. The whole tenor of the album is very English in the sense that Miss Marple and bobbies on bicycles are English. It's all memorably inoffensive. A good but not great album.

(Here follows a track by track description. It's the first I've ever attempted, and I don't consider myself much of an expert, but no-one else has yet written a detailed review, so here goes.)

A jaunty opening number. "We ain't burglars, we're captains of the night" proclaims the chorus, evoking memories of those villains with striped shirts, black masks and bags labelled SWAG which used to frequent the pages of 'The Beano' in my youth.

The nostalgic mood continues with "Sing Something Simple", a smoothly upbeat song seasoned with clips from the radio comedy "Round the Horne".

Then we're off to the railway station for "Anorak of Fire" - a lively driving celebration of trainspotting. I'm sure I recognise an old radio jingle in there somewhere. The dramatic atmosphere generated by the music gives a much more heroic picture than is usual associated with the hobby.

I'm not sure who or what "Resurrection" is about, but the music is fast and optimistic with a hard edge and some catchy melodies.

"Oklahoma" commemorates the day of the infamous bombing. There is a relentless tension as people go about their business unaware of the tragedy soon to hit them. This is perhaps my favourite track on the album. It's a tuneful and memorable song which is somewhat at odds with it's subject matter.

"Heart and soul" is as passionate at the title suggests, with a repetitive sing-a-long chorus.

"Secret Garden" starts with a long gentle guitar melody. Then it launches into a folksy song which I think is about a father promising to care for his children. In any case, it continues the run of pleasant tuneful songs. The flute adds a touch of earthy good humour.

I've no idea what "Touch" is about. The lyrics are snappy and hard-hitting, delivered in short punchy phrases, and the tune in more grim and moody than other songs. "He say! He say she say! She say we say! We say they all say...." What's that about, eh?

I think the next track is about the hidden "Wolf" inside a human heart. It's has a starkly dramatic verse and a richer melodic chorus. There's also a chunk of heavy instrumental and what sounds like a reprise of "Anorak of Fire".

From the generally downbeat mood, whoever "Emily" is, she is not in a particularly cheerful frame of mind. Dark hypnotic thumps are not terribly uplifting.

The style of "Rich Men Singing" is that of the folk band at a Barn Dance. I can just picture the audience swaying merrily to the beat, waving their pints of ale as they join in the chorus.

The same style continues for the final song, "Court of Despair". As the title suggests, it's a somewhat melancholy conclusion to the album, but the rolling beat is enough to keep up the spirits and the tunes are just as catchy as ever. Then comes a lively instrumental jig (still in a minor key) which grows wilder and with added lead guitar before bursting into a final chorus.

mathmethman | 3/5 |


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