Alfie – Do You Imagine Things?

Playful Northern fops take a great leap forward from 2002's A Word In Your Ear

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Touted as the next big stink a couple of years ago, Alfie never quite made it. To detractors, they were too twee?too, well, nice. Eighteen months on, after breaking with old label Twisted Nerve and with Coldplay producer Ken Nelson at the helm, they’ve put their backs into it. The pastorale remains (as does singer Lee Gorton’s muggy sweetness), but the album also distills Barrett-era Floyd, Flaming Lips and the psychedelic headspin of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band into a flurry of brass, strings and folk-choir harmonies. Of their UK peers, only the Super Furries do this stuff better.

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