Aqualung – Still Life

Impressive return from "Strange And Beautiful" songsmith

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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.

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