Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Lucky Soul - The Great Unwanted

Download: Lucky Soul - "Add Your Light to Mine, Baby"
Download: Lucky Soul - "One Kiss Don't Make a Summer"
Download: Lucky Soul - "The Great Unwanted"

Grade: B+

Lucky Soul, a group of dashing Brits, play equally dashing and dazzling pop music. Their first album, The Great Unwanted, is one of the best revival records I've heard all year. The band taps into a deep resevoir of pop music traditions, mining Motown, soul and Brit-rock to come up with a record chock full of songs you've (sort of) heard before. But even it all sounds a little familiar, the band's joyful and ecstatic sound more than makes up for any lack of originality.

The sweet swing of "All Your Light to Mine, Baby" sets the tone for the rest of the record. Built around Ali Howard's slender voice, the track is all slick bursts of brass and bouncy guitar bop. The sophistication of the arrangement matches up nicely with the simple, effective lyrics: "Add your light to mine, baby / we could shine." With other bands, the coy lyrics and string swells could feel a little overwrought, but Lucky Soul's swagger saves them from sounding sappy; they just sound like their having so much fucking fun. Rinse and repeat for the rest of the album - it's consistently awesome. I'm not sure if The Great Unwanted will have tremendous staying power, but I'm also not sure that I've heard a better pop record in 2007.

(Pete Farrell)


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