Not a note out of place or a lazy lyric in sight.
Michael Quinn 2009-06-08
Few contemporary acts straddle the middle of the road with such knowing aplomb and to such winningly subversive effect as Auchtermuchty's finest export since the central Scottish town's distillery closed in 1929, Craig and Charlie Reid, aka The Proclaimers.
That Notes & Rhymes, the eighth long-playing offering from the identical twins, delivers more of the same is recommendation enough. On offer is a fresh and feisty batch of songs that veer from euphoric paeans to both love – the heart-on-sleeve sincerity of Three More Days and soaring Love Can Move Mountains – and, in the album's raucous rockabilly-laced title track, to music; to clenched-fist protests against unemployment (the Damien Dempsey-penned Sing All Our Cares Away), the twist-the-knife sarcasm of Free Market, caustic rage of Just Look Now and fierce anti-war polemic of I Know.
Anthemic balladry puts in an appearance courtesy of the tour-weary, homeward-looking Three More Days, the hushed hymnal of Like A Flame and the bittersweet On Causewayside.
Crowning the elegant combination of country, pop, bluegrass and soapbox pontificating, the cover of Moe Bandy's It Was Always So Easy To Find An Unhappy Woman is pure Nashville reverie filtered through clear-sighted longing and loss.
With not a note out of place or a lazy lyric in sight, Notes & Rhymes is considerably more than its modestly throwaway title might imply.