Album review

Aqualung - Still Life

Matt Hales, assisted by his TV actress wife, his brother, and co-producer Jacknife Lee, follows up his so-so top-selling Volkswagen-ad-boosted debut with—crikey!—an absolute corker. "Brighter Than Sunshine" is an extraordinarily euphoric, exquisite song which would bring a statue to tears of happiness: there hasn't been a better believe-in-the-healing-power-of-love ballad this year, even from the hand of Ed Harcourt.

The remaining songs-crafted, clever, cut-glass-can't match it, but the embrace of "Easier To Lie" and the pathos of "Good Goodnight" come impressively close. Far from the one-hit wonder we thought, Aqualung could—even if marketed as the new Coldplay—be the next Burt Bacharach.

Rating: 4 / 10


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The 35th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs...