Friday, December 03, 2010

Sweeping The Nation Albums Of 2010: Number 42

Is there anything as disarming to critical faculties as the retro girl group sound? Finding harmonic joy in bittersweet heartbreak, the Spectorite example has been getting people to dance through the narrative tears for nearly five decades. It's easy to get wrong - there's something studiously po-faced and hard to fall for about the Vivian Girls-led US sect - but The School, who've been working up to this debut album for a while, understand the inherent power in a misleadingly simple but evidently catchy hook, harmonic occasionally call and response-primed backing vocal, Motown beat (yes, the Be My Baby drumbeat makes a guest appearance) and judicious use of brass and strings, all in primary coloured shades of fizzy greatness, topped by Liz Hunt's disarmingly charming, almost casual voice. The best thing is it sounds full of classic pop hits unbecoming a Cardiff band on a defiant indie working to a budget. Not complex, but all too easy to fall for and swoonworthy enough in its command of the genre to avoid easy uncritical nostalgia.


Is He Really Coming Home?

The full list

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