The Pop Truth

A Coming Of Age Packshot

There isn’t anything as good as a great pop song. The combination of a catchy tune, toe-tapping beat and lyrics that you know could have been written about your own life drive you to that place where your eyes well up because you know that life can’t get any better.

Sadly, in 2010, we live in a dearth of great music. Instant gratification and music that seems more around to create earache than pleasure dominates, and even those semi-decent tunes seem to be drowned in overproduction, gimmick and vocals that are more machine than human.

But dig a bit deeper, and great pop music is still being made. You can find it in the pages of the blog and we all know that Brian Wilson is still adding to his canon of Californian joy and heartache. You also know this blog has been a fan of Lucky Soul for some years, and it is time to celebrate the release of their second album, A Coming Of Age.

 Andrew Laidlaw, the main creative force of the band, indicated his intention to create a great album of twelve tunes, with no filler, and drawn-out arrangements. No track is longer than four minutes, and if you think 36 minutes is too short, let me remind about a 1966 album of just about exactly the same length that many think is the greatest ever (Hint, if you really don’t get it). I’m definitely one with a view that less is usually more in putting together a great album.

It’s all pretty brilliant, with a great variety of sounds and mixture between up-tempo and down-tempo songs. Saint Etienne, 60s girl groups and Smiths are sometimes reference points given for Lucky Soul but a far wider palate is hinted it. Up In Flames evokes Dexys’s Midnight Runners, Warm Water reminds one of traditional British folk balladry while one of the greatest tracks, Southern Melancholy taps into the well of California heartache of Mr. Brian Wilson and evokes his most moving songs.

It’s a lyrically downbeat album, evoking much loss and heartbreak- but much great music was created in these emotions. Lucky Soul definitely see themselves as outsiders -titles of their songs so far (not all on this album) include The Great Unwanted, Ain’t Never Been Cool and Could Be I Don’t Belong Anywhere. They know they aren’t in the mainstream but their proud of it. Let the greatest pleasures be restricted to the few.

This will be one of the albums of 2010 and the decade, so get into your music collection now. You can buy it on Amazon here. Those outside the UK should be able to download it from 7digital here. A reminder also to Brian Wilson fans that the Stockholm Stings n’ Horns play on a number of tracks here.

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