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Montt Mardié Introducing... The Best Of Review

Compilation. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

There's plenty to enjoy in the Swedish singer's catalogue so far.

Jan Gilbert 2008

At first glance 24-year-old Montt Mardié (stage name of singer-songwriter David Pagmar) seems to have chosen a rather contradictory title to launch his debut album in the UK: Introducing… The Best Of. After all, aren't Introducing… albums supposed to be debuts, and Best Of… discs meant to be compilations, released after years of chart success? Well, Mardié's album does tick both boxes in some ways. With two albums already under his belt in his Swedish homeland, the singer's first album released to the British pop-buying public is largely made up of tracks from his Swedish debut and sophomore LPs, Drama and Clocks / Pretender.

The album kicks off with a bouncy track named after 60s comic strip character Modesty Blaise and recalls the sounds of 80s band, Prefab Sprout, the Style Council’s Shout To The Top, and the ''Saturday, Saturday'' refrain from Elton John's Saturday Night's Alright.

Pop culture references abound throughout the album: Breakfast At Tiffany's Holly Golightly (Set Sail Tomorrow), Mark Twain (Huckleberry Friend), the Apollo 11 space mission (1969, complete with clips from John F. Kennedy's speech), Harper Lee (How To Kill A Mockingbird), Meat Loaf and Prefab Sprout frontman Paddy McAloon (Paddy, You Won't Get What You Deserve), all providing inspiration for Mardié's lyrics.

With seventeen tracks, there's no shortage of ballads or upbeat songs, and there's even a mixed-tempo number (Smile Charlie). But it's the wealth of incredibly catchy tunes such as Birthday Boy, Prom Night, and Phone Call Drama to name but a few, which really shine through, lending the album the enjoyably bright sound of summer.

Tracks like Too Many Songs Unwritten and The Windmill Turns All The Same show that Mardié is at his best performing soft-voiced 80s-esque pop rather than Prince or Smokey Robinson-inspired falsettos.

Whether Mardié will enjoy the longevity of his song-writing heroes Burt Bacharach and Paul McCartney and see the prayer answered that he voices in the lively Names Not Forgotten (''I pray so hard that my name is not forgotten'') is another matter. But while we're waiting to find out, there's plenty to enjoy in the Swedish singer's catalogue so far.

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