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Babybird

King of Nothing (labelname)

By • Aug 5th, 2020 • Category: Album review

Amid a slew of releases, this album appears to be something approximating a major release by Stephen Jones, aka Babybird…

BM has tried to keep up with the astounding schedule, something like ten albums so far then let the fun begin… This purports to be the best of the last ten years… arguable when there is so much product out there on Bandcamp…

The 13 track LP starts with ‘London I Hate You’, previously reviewed by BM and already one of the highlights of the year so far….

‘Feel’ is a big belter of a ballad which yet again shows SJ’s voice as something of great wonder, a unique baritone which is unmistakeable through the years – there are great uses of strings (probably fake) and analogue synth squelch here as this thing, really a torch song, judders through the gears into multiple climaxes, and then the inevitable fade-out… wow!

Next up is ‘Greatest Thing’ – more upbeat and throwaway, but good nonetheless, while ‘Vacuous’ has a lot more conventional instrumentation on it – like the Stereophonics with Momus on lead vocals… (SJ will probably hate that analogy…)

‘Three Little Words’ is about the struggles of writing a love song – and we have all been lost for words at points… it is quite a soppy love song in the end though…

‘King of Nothing’ (previously reviewed) – is a superb track, with spoken word and cutting words, plus a great guitar riff and fab backing instrumentation… is it autobiographical? Who cares, it is like a recent update of ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’…

Following that,’Demons’ is quite far for the course but ‘In This Place Of Love’ is back to that wistful, wondering voice which always kills BM – there is really nothing like it… just wonderful…

‘Lovelife’ is also wistful and a bit maudlin – (note to self, wonder if SJ and Kenny Anderson have ever crossed paths, there are some parallels in their music and their thrawn career paths…)

‘Bad Feelings’ and ‘North of England’ are both fine, but the last couple of tracks are very evocative – ‘Old Car’ is a bit of a throwback and maybe not the best track on this album, however closer ‘Get Lucky’ gets us back on track again – a sly remake (is he paying the royalties?), it is a beautiful comedown and quite the most erotic track to come out of Northern England for some time… wonderful and a great end to a great album.

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