An Album Review

Published on 1 September 2022 at 19:05

By Paul Laird

Listen to the Mild Mannered Mix every Thursday from 8PM GMT


An album  

Giving people what they want is easy. 

And cowardly. 

And lazy. 


I can’t think of anything more soul destroying than investing the time and energy it requires to be  able to play an instrument well, and then to use that talent to make the same noises that  thousands of other people have already made thousands of times before you. 


Why would you want to sound exactly like someone else? 


You are the musical equivalent of one of those phone hacking journalists…”Hey, we are just giving  people what they want.” Taking the time to research important stories, exposing wrongdoing,  shining a light on the hidden things…”Could do, could do. But it’s easier to hack the voicemail of  Steve Coogan and tell you what he’s been up to.” 


So it is with this. 

You can play the instruments. 

You can write a song. 


You could spend a little bit of time listening to other musical forms, exploring the weird and the  wonderful, seeking inspiration…”Could do, could do. But if we just write songs that sound  exactly like these other songs that we know people like…” 


There isn’t a single original thought to be found here. 

Not one. 

It sounds exactly like you think it will sound. 


You don’t even need to listen to it or own it, you can just listen to one of the other things that  sound exactly like it. You won’t be challenged here, you won’t hear anything that takes your  breath away, you won’t find yourself trying to work out who, or what, has inspired it. 


There are people who will love it. 

They will love it because it gives them what they want. 

“I know what I like” they will bleat. 

Oh, fuck off. 


Nothing moves forward in art, music or literature by “knowing what you like”. What about the  things you don’t like? Why don’t you like them? Why not step outside of the carefully  constructed, magnolia, semi-detached, suburban, box you have built around yourself and try  something different. 


It doesn’t have to be new. 

Who knows what new even means. 

But just listen to something…else. 


This is music for people who could, without a moment's hesitation, tell Lauren Laverne what single 

record they would take to that island…and be absolutely thrilled about the prospect of hearing it  over and over and over and over again forever.