LOUD HORIZON has a bit of an affinity with London based singer / songwriter Tim Mullineaux – a.k.a. THE LUCKY FACE. One of his early single releases (must be best part of two years ago, I should think) was amongst the first batches to be reviewed on an earlier version of this site. It surprised me then that I really liked a recording by a ‘singer / songwriter’ and made me realise that even us crusty old punks can broaden our musical horizons. (I still remain to be convinced about airy-fairy Folk music though!)
So, a further three acclaimed singles down the line, and THE LUCKY FACE has finally gotten around to recording an album – but this time there is more of an ‘expectation’ of enjoyment rather than surprise.
An ‘expectation’ completely fulfilled I have to say.
There’s a certain simplicity about ‘The Lucky Face’ – the album; a refreshing innocence, you might say. It has a bouncy and uplifting refrain and seeks not to impress through needless complication.
Opening track of the twelve is ‘Time Flies.’ Whereas most of the tracks have more of an acoustic feel to them, this one is definitely ‘plugged in,’ with the fuzzed and slightly distorted guitar pairing up with an incessant piano line to create a very Blur-like song. ‘Self Help’ keeps the piano to the fore in a chirpy little schmaltzy, bluesy, bar –room ditty. ‘Don’t Say Nothing’ also carries that blues inflection, whereas the song that splits these last two, ‘Overheating,’ reverts to the strummed electric guitar and catchy chorus formula.
‘Underneath The City Lights,’ is the first of the two singles that feature on the album. (It would be so easy for Tim to include all four earlier singles on the debut album, so big plus-points for concentrating on more new material.) This is probably my favourite song. It’s bright and breezy, with lovely little piano arpeggios that stick around for days. The vocals are relaxed and even the damned whistling (in this case) actually sounds like it was meant to be there and not just crowbarred in like some songs I could mention.
‘When Edie Decides,’ returns to the blues base. The pace slows, but it even then it still inspires a sing-a-long. (I don’t mean to be unkind, but this one has a bit of a ‘Steptoe and Son’ feel to it!) ‘John You Always Get The Fit One,’ is a great title and rocks along to the fuzzed up guitar / piano combo again. ‘The Lonely Way,’ has a distinct summery, Sixties sound to it – like a West Coast original. ‘Like Ronnie Said To Phil,’ is the other track to have previously been granted a single release. Think of a mash-up of Billy Joel’s ‘Piano Man,’ and The Band’s ‘The Weight.’ Not bad, eh?!
‘Write Your Own History,’ is another suited to the barroom singsongs, while ‘Calamity,’ is the first one that to me sounds a little sad and serious. And then it’s all brought to a close with the one minute and three seconds of ‘Fifteen Minutes.’
Yeah – altogether a smart album is this. Witty and whimsical song writing with no pretentious posturing, it’s most definitely one for those (hopefully) forthcoming long, hot summery days spent sitting in the sunshine and drinking ice cold beers.
(Released through all major download stores on 6th June 2011)