Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Album Review – Fly Yellow Moon, Fyfe Dangerfield

Former Guillemots front man delivers a dreamy debut in Fly Yellow Moon.

The Guillemots were, a bit like Dangerfield’s name, eclectic and eccentric and moreover a band which made jam-packed and over the top songs. They were joyous – full of harmonies and layers and instruments, sometimes whole orchestras. In contrast to this Dangerfield has come up with Fly Yellow Moon and it’s by no means a disappointing move.

Many of the songs on the album are much simpler than Dangerfield’s previous work. For the most part giving an impression of a pared down acoustic sound; piano and guitar dominates and occasionally strings are bought in, all backed up by a drum machine.

However, still very much present are the signature skilfully put together melodies, sometimes melancholic, sometimes lilting and uplifting. ‘Barricades’ has hints of some prolific names – Leonard Cohen perhaps or Lennon.

Overall therefore, it would be unfair to call the album a simple work, especially because of Dangerfield’s first class flair for song writing. But the album was predominately recorded and produced in just five days.

This raw and under-produced sound is fine throughout most of the album but jars against some of the more worked-on tracks such as the single ‘She Needs Me’ which, in a nod to his old ways, incorporates backing harmonies, strings, brass, synths – you name it.

‘She Needs Me’ is a standout track though, Dangerfield has injected his own quirkiness into what is essentially a brilliant pop song – complete with a crazily catchy chorus, “This is where I want to be/ She needs me”. It’s bound to be dominating radio airwaves soon.

It’s reported that Dangerfield’s decision to start and finish the album so quickly was because he found himself newly in love and wanted to capture his feelings as organically as possible. This does give an added poignancy to some of the sweetest lyrics on the album “I can’t help it if I’m happy not be sad…I want you endlessly,” on ‘When You Walk In The Room’ (above), another great track.

And so unabashed is the album about its’ being about love that you can’t help but feel slightly swept up in his obvious enthusiasm throughout all 10 tracks. All in all an excellent and dreamy debut from one of the British music scene’s eccentrics.

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