Sunday, 18 July 2010

Nigel of Bermondsey - London Dreamtime (Pure Mint)

‘London Dreamtime’ is Nigel of Bermondsey’s second album – recorded in his shed in London, this is an extremely polished and quirky pop record right from the first note. Album opener ‘Castle Of Evil’ gets everything going with a laid back groove driven by a synth bass line reminiscent of The Flaming Lips. As the chorus kicks in it is immediately huge; layers of drums, guitars and synths create a wall of sound. Then in comes Nigel’s high pitch, wailing voice. It’s strong that’s for sure, but it never overpowers the music.

As the album continues a theme begins to appear; it is full of bouncy pop songs with not much contrast between them. There are even a couple of moments where the songs seem to blend into one another, but it really isn’t a problem as the album as a whole is extremely lively. You could put pretty much any one of the tracks on at a party and I (almost) guarantee that people would start dancing. There are lots of different influences that come through in the music; The Flaming Lips, Ghosts, The Beatles (a couple of times you would be excused for thinking Paul McCartney had laid down the bass lines), and there is even a moment in the song ‘Human Nature’ where it sounds like Kylie had a part to play in the production.

The closing song, ‘What Have I Got to Lose,’ stands out the most for me though. It’s the one track that completely breaks away from the mould from the previous eleven songs. There are no synths, there’s no bouncing bass lines and no kick drum heavy drumming. It’s a beautiful ballad filled with flowing vocal harmonies, delicate drums and percussion and a slick guitar part. It’s the perfect way to end an album like ‘London Dreamtime’; it’s totally unexpected but in no way out of place and is a great way to round off what is a strong album. 7/10

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