This Time I've Done It
|Luke Smith & The Feelings|
CD only BEJOCD-47
Third album by Canterbury's troubled troubadour, featuring his new band The Feelings.
He's done it this time.
What the critics have said...
To precis a forthcoming thesis, it's funny how much truly English modern music has come from places beginning in 'Ca': Syd Barrett and Robyn Hitchcock from Cambridge, Dr Feelgo-od and Will Birch from Canvey Island, and Car-avan, Ian Dury's Kilburns and the Oysters from Canterbury. (Come on, Cannock and Cater-ham!) >From Canterbury also hails pub pianist and songwriter extraordinaire Luke Smith, whose third album sees him with a full band, though the piano is still to the fore, not for-getting the mighty Dave the Drummer.
'The Feelings' is a very apt choice of name, too, as it's emotions and feelings that occupy most of this album - but not in a mawkish or sentimental way: Smith has a way of laying himself on the line that is quite dis-arming, whether it's the painful honesty and self-knowledge of I Need So Much To Be Loved, an anthem for the shy and sensitive, or the heartfelt No One Else Will Do. But of course there's much more - who else could write Awkward Teenage Girl, where the sub-ject's rudeness and foul moods are linked to her nervous energy and edge, or fall for someone "so bitter... so dour" in She Must Have A Sensitive Side? And if the title alone of You'll Never Stop People Being Gits does-n't twang your synapses, you have no soul.
None of this would matter if it didn't sound good, and the music is a cunning blend of music hall, tea dances (Don't Make Me Think About Life) and Ronnie Lane-ish rackety folk 'n' roll (Out On My Own, com-plete with whistling solo). The backing vocal-ists add a smooth texture, while the brass Feelings alternately provide lounge-lizard sax or Tijuana Brass trumpet-sorry for another comparison, but Muswell Hillbilliesl Everyone's In Showbiz-era Ray Davies comes inescapably to mind musically, and that was pretty damn good. Even the spoken inter-ludes fit well, as when introducing the lovely childlike (not childish) liberation of the clos-ing track, Away For A Day.
'Englishness' in a musical context is often equated with cult eccentricity; I really hope Luke Smith doesn't just get classed this way, as he's a genuine breath of fresh air. Great stuff.
Ian Kearey – fROOTS
|1||I Need So Much to be Loved|
|2||Awkward Teenage Girl|
|3||The Hard Way|
|4||No One Else Will Do|
|5||You'll Never Stop People Being Gits|
|6||Out On My Own|
|7||This Time I've Done IT|
|8||She Must Have a Sensitive Side|
|9||Don't Make Me Think About Life|
|10||Love is Blind|
|11||Away for a Day|
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