It's a minor pleasure maybe, but a pleasure nonetheless.
Dennis O'Dell 2008-10-17
While Childs' former band, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, managed to balance a debt to Canterbury scene legends like Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt (Childs appeared on Ayer's 2007 comeback album, Unfairground) with what some might call 'twee' folky cuteness, his solo work has shown a greater leaning towards to the USA. Last album, The Miracle Inn was filled with Beach Boys sunshine, and on this, album number six - he wheels in a hefty slice of pedal steel Americana. Mind you, the core of Cheer Gone still contains the mildly fey, winsome vocals and rather childlike worldview that all adds appeal.
As the title i mplies, some of this material is a little sad, Autumn Leaves (with the aforementioned pedal steel shining out) drips melancholy while My Love Is Gone is predictably maudlin too. But Childs' Welsh tones, a little like fellow countryman, Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals, always hold some positivity.
It's a minor pleasure maybe, but a pleasure nonetheless, and fans of his last release will be satified.