For those of you lucky enough to be going to The Gathering next month you will not only get the chance to pick up the fantastic new album by Smiley early but he will also be on hand at the merch desk on the Saturday afternoon to sign it for you! Those that can't make it to Llandudno can pre-order it now by clicking HERE!
For those waiting to know more then here is my review!
As Smiley comes to the third album in his “Friends” series my anticipation and expectations were extremely high after his previous release “Friends In Far Out Places” proved to be one of my favourite albums of the year and rarely strayed from my playlist. The first thing to tell you is that this album delivers, in fact it delivers in a big way.
For me it no longer really matters who is playing what part on what track as the whole project feels natural and fluid, a band more than a solo outing with guests, and they know they sound fantastic!
Stylistically “On Sunshine Corner” has continued the development that was so obvious on the last album which doesn’t mean that Smiley and co are afraid to experiment and go from a groove-tastic horn laden James Brown tribute in the shape of “What Would James Do?” to the politicised musings of “Oh Lord” which is delivered in a track that Bono would be proud to sing!
The song writing seems more confident here, maybe as Smileys writing partnership with Graham Turner continues to grow, while the use of the different vocalists helps to showcase the diversity of styles.
This is an album that does very little wrong, I’m not a massive fan of “Overfamiliarity” if truth be told and after seeing the track listing I did initially question the need to include a remix of the epic “End Of The World” from the previous album but once you hear the richness of the new mix you won’t mind one bit that you have another version of it. “Rock N Roll Comedown” could quite easily be a very close relative of “Far Out Places” track “Million Smiles” but both tracks work so I’m ok with that, there are plenty of other highly original tracks on offer here.
This is an album waiting to be discovered and demanding your attention, it’s amazing this is coming from an authentically indie background and you wonder how much attention great songs like these could get given different circumstances. Will you hear these songs on the radio? You could, you certainly should but the truth of the matter is that you probably won’t. This is music driven by you, get it, love it, tell your friends, shout it from the rooftops…Smiley has loads of friends in all sort of places and now it’s time to count yourself among them!