Raymond Meade “Fables and Follies”
Glasgow, UK based Meade was in the band The Ronelles back in 2006, and here he makes an amazing debut with guest spots from Jon Fratelli (Fratellis) and Philip Chevron (The Pogues).
The album is just flawless – the strong beat and guitar riffs open “The Hardest Part” and the hooks are huge on the chorus of “Don’t Say You’re Sorry.” His sound is unique, but if you can imagine Rick Springfield playing for The Velvet Crush (I guess) that’s close enough. “Tracing Air” has a beautiful multi-tracked guitar opening, layered vocals and rhythms, and it also slows with fine harmonies on “Waiting For Lucy.” Each song is great, I’m not even gonna touch on “Carnivore” with a mid-song narrative by Iain Banks, and the epic anthem of the title track. This is an album that gets better with each listen, and should’ve been in my top ten list for 2012. Simply brilliant guitar pop.
Tipsy in Chelsea “Tipsy in Chelsea”
The duo of Dean Falcone and Trish Thompson creates lovely 70’s lounge pop in the style of Burt Bacharach. Thompson’s approach on “I Wouldn’t Mind The Wait” is very much in the mold of Dusty Springfield, with soft hushed tones. “You Don’t Care” is another intimate ballad that describes heartbreak perfectly. Falcone’s instrumentation and arrangements are right on target. What is missing is a spirited increase in Ms. Thompson’s vocal range, which is more like Astrud Gilberto than Marilyn McCoo. After all, singing The 5th Dimension’s “(Last Night) I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All” is an okay cover, but listening made me want to hear the original.