No one does English pop quite like The Brigadier (aka Matt Williams). I’ve touted his albums before, but his latest effort The Secret Of No Success is one of most light hearted and whimsical. The theme is job seeking, and the 10cc meets Aztec Camera inspired “Doing The 9 to 5” is a bouncy romp that wouldn’t sound out of place as a theme for a musical about The Office. It goes through the day, from the commute “On The Bus” and the rocking “Just A Little Kiss Miss Busy” is a real standout track, with a signature riff and casual flirt approach. Plenty of great soul searching lyrics are found in the wonderful “Middle Management” where it focuses on the hopes and dreams of the boss, with a blistering guitar break and dreamy background harmonies.
Comparisons with Pugwash and XTC are easy to hear in the weaving vocals of “C.V” and hook-filled guitar strums of the title track. The guitar and synth play on “Let Me Impress You” is impressive, as the smooth vocal work here. It ends on another pop gem “A Better Day” which tells the listener “sweet relief will come.” This is the best Brigadier album since The Rise and Fall Of Responsibility and there is more than enough here to recommend.