Hollier – The White Lies
There’s a danger in learning to sing too well. There’s an even higher degree of peril involved in being born with the kind of voice that will let you recite the dictionary to hordes of thankful fans. The hazard stems from the fact that most of the best singers have nothing to sing about, while others, like your John Lydons and Bob Dylans, get through on their interesting personalities.
Hollier’s The White Lies could have easily treaded on similar territory were it not for the fact that the Lousiana songwriter does possess a large, wounded soul and is ready to show it bravely to the world.
The White Lies shines especially in terms of melodies and sound production. Both harken back to an era where music was designed to appeal to as large a fanbase as the radio stations and jukeboxes would afford artists. There’s a shimmer and a tenderness to the sound of this that are highly appealing.
Baba Shrimps – Galileo
I must admit that I was very naive about Switzerland and its music scene, as you may have been able to discern from reading some of my previous reviews. I was, perhaps, stuck on Orson Welles’ description of the country as provided in the famous The Fourth Man. I was also convinced that Switzerland’s biggest musical legacies were those of those AC/DC soundalikes Krokus and the Kraftwerk on acid of Yello.
I was wrong, I have to say. Recently I’ve been exposed to a lot of agreeable, sophisticated, indie-pop created in the land of clocks and chocolate that can sit right beside anything that the more famous pop producing nations, England, the U.S.A., or Germany, can throw out at us.
Galileo is a tender love song that could be fitted easily into a Disney movie. It’s harmless, yes, but also executed delightfully. The nasty rock bands we tend to cover on Alt77 often reach for shock value (and we’re grateful to them). But, once in a while, they should turn their attention to a band like Baba Shrimps, where pretty melodies, faultless production, and the construction of songs with wide-appeal potential are part of the formula.