The High Llamas – Beet, Maize & Corn

Seventh studio album from inveterate Beach Boys fans

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Yes, it sounds lovely. What else would you expect? Head Llama Sean O’Hagan (already sainted for being one half of Microdisney alongside Cathal Coughlan) has unimpeachably good taste, and the parp of trombone and scrape of strings in the service of classic Tin Pan Alley and Wilsonesque chord progressions is never a bad thing. The delicate chamber pop of Beet, Maize & Corn is inarguably easy on the ear, but short on real emotional pull and, it has to be said (again), Hagan’s thin, winsome voice smacks of resolutely indie underachievement. Still, this is the kind of record you feel awful about being beastly to.

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