Published On: Sun, Aug 6th, 2017

Nick Heyward's new file 'Woodland Echoes' is the album of the week


ALBUM OF THE WEEK

Nick Heyward Woodland Echoes (Gladsome Hawk)

That spirit of wide-eyed, harmless joyfulness, wrapped up in a love of all issues pastoral, infuses each notice on Woodland Echoes, Heyward’s first solo album in 18 years.

A ticking clock units the beat of the opening observe, Love Is The Key By The Sea – “decelerate, put your hand in mine” – and your complete album has the ambiance of an countless English summer season’s afternoon.

Mountaintop, The Stars and Lovely Morning (which begins with birdsong, natch), are basic Heyward melodies, candy and easy, whereas Who? introduces a bit of laid-back, tea-time jazz and Child Blue Sky a more durable edged guitar riff.

There are shades of XTC’s eccentric attraction right here and there and, on I Can See Her, the type of up to date 60s sound Mike Scott pursued on Fashionable Blues however Woodland Echoes is all about Heyward himself: a basic pop songwriter again at his easiest.

Randy Newman Darkish Matter (Nonesuch)

The excellent news is that Newman, one among rock’s best political satirists, doesn’t trash Trump, presently rock’s most irritating cliche. As an alternative we get an exquisite, rousing, vain-glorious portrait of the Russian president on Putin, opening with the unforgettable picture of him pulling on his trousers “one leg at a time”. 

“He’s identical to an everyday fella, huh?” declares Newman, one eyebrow raised. In distinction his fantastically orchestrated ballad, Brothers, which takes us into the White Home of Bobby and Jack Kennedy throughout the Cuban missile disaster is each literate and shifting, as is Misplaced With out You, a mom instructing her sons on taking care of their ailing father. “I used to be younger once we met, and afraid of the phrase/Now it’s he that’s afraid and I’m prepared.”

VERDICT: four/5

The Pet Store Boys Nightlife/Launch/Basic (Parlophone deluxe re-releases, two/three discs)

Few teams have re-explored, remixed and generally reinvented their very own music with as a lot ability and aplomb as Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe. These expanded re-issues include a wealth of such different variations, in addition to further tracks resembling an exquisite duet with Elton John on Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Alone Once more (Naturally). Solely they’d consider that.

VERDICT: four/5


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