Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Oftentimes when the guitarist of a band makes a solo album (or a second solo album, in this case), they're often filled with more noodling than songs. Their solo career gives them a chance to do those five minute solos they can never do with the original band. This is not the case with Bell x1's David Geraghty.
You wouldn't know it from his work with Bell x1, but Geraghty is a more than accomplished singer. His voice is perfect for an album like this - he's kind of like the male Lisa Hannigan. Except this album is better than hers. It's also a huge improvement on his debut Kill Your Darlings.
The album opens with 'Watch Her Win' a pounding keyboard led number that gives the album its name in the refrain "woah oh oh oh, it's the victory dance that's been drawing you in." Dave starts off well and then moves it up a notch to the utterly enchanting 'Tuesday's Feet'. It's got a memorable chorus, which packs a lot of punch. Plus, the backing is Arcade Fire-esque without going overboard.
Then it never really goes downhill. Beware, it's nothing like his parent band. Instead it's a gorgeous record, where each song is captivating in its own enchanting way. Whether it's the soft warmth of 'Instant Sunshine' or the beautiful banjo on 'Wear Out You Name'. It's all so beautiful.
'Soft Spot' sums up the album perfectly. It's an album you'll always have a soft spot for, and is better than the latest album by that other troubador, David Gray. 'Last Time Around' features a marvellous interplay between keys and guitar, and allows Geraghty the chance to show off, but he reins it in before it goes too far. 'The Emperor's Hand Me Downs' is the song Randy Newman never recorded, but with much better vocals! It could easily feature on a soundtrack.
'Change My Mind' is a lovely little love song, 'Stones' is a real grower with a wondeful climax, and closer 'Falter' eases you to the end of the album in style. At ten songs it never outstays its welcome, and will remain a visitor you always want to have stay. There's no doubt I'll be revisiting this album every few years, to bask in its glow once again.