OF FLUKES - YOU'RE THE KING
Wooden Clogs Music
all for variety, but when a press release tells you that an album’s
music ranges from ‘bluegrass to synth pop’, eyebrows
are bound to be raised. And when that same release namechecks
Belle and Sebastian, even as you find yourself grimacing through
the much-less-witty-than-it-thinks-it-is opening track, the temptation
to turn it off and listen to something else is great indeed.
And to be honest, that wouldn’t have been a bad move. Because
Joe Holland’s one man band debut album is tediously bland
– his weak voice and twee ditties being the sort of thing
better suited to the less fussy open mic nights across the country
than CD release.
Occasionally, a track seems like it might be breaking the mould
– Nothing More to Say opens well,
but rapidly falls apart once the vocals kick in, while The
Girl with the Suitcase in Her Hair has a bouncy
Sixties feel – and maybe would be a passable track if performed
by Syd Barrett. But Holland’s strangled, anonymous voice
And that’s the problem – I’ll concede that Holland
shows a degree of potential – not yet reached – as
a songwriter if he could rein back the failed efforts to be quirky,
but he effectively ruins his own tunes with his performance. He’s
not helped by the terrible production – this sounds more
like a collection of demos than finished tracks, with female backing
vocals that are strangulated and far too high in the mix.
If this album has any success, that will indeed be a fluke.