Album #135: Tim Burgess – I Love the New Sky

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Northwich, England
  • Label: Bella Union
  • Best Track: The Warhol Me

The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess has made a bit of a name for himself during lockdown with his Twitter Listening Parties, where he encourages music fans to listen to a chosen album live and share their experiences and questions on it. What better time than now to release his fifth solo album then?

I Love the New Sky is a bit of a mixed bag really. There are songs I like a lot and others I don’t care for at all.

Let’s get the latter out of the way first. ‘Comme D’Habitude’ is a right mess of a song for my money, with its constant shifts in tempo and structure, complete with dorky backing vocals. Fair play to him for trying to do something ambitious that leaps from one sound to another, but in doing so it trips over its own shoelaces for me. It’s followed by ‘Sweet Old Sorry Me’, a pretty uninspiring piece of piano-driven indie that seems to heavily recycle the melody of The Beatles’ ‘Long and Winding Road’.

I think Burgess has more success when he keeps it simple. ‘Warhol Me’ has this almost space-rocky vibe, with sparse and repetitive lyrics, and works a treat. ‘Sweetheart Mercury’ is the earworm of the album, while the melancholy of ‘Undertow’ is likely to bring a lump to the throat.

Overall, the good outweighs the bad, and the album is worthy of a listening party of its own, which is happening tonight at 10pm.

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