Sometimes the most rewarding musical listens can be those when you know nothing about the artist in question, where a surprise can pop out of nowhere.
Unfortunately, in a sense, Roy Moller’s reputation goes before him – a collaborator with Belle and Sebastian back in the say (writer of ‘Seymour Stein’ among other work), so expectations are high.
Going for broke on the research thing then, various googling turns up the fact that he was a member of Edinburgh noiseniks Meth O.D. and played guitar with The Wow Kafe, whose name may ring a bell from the Peel show (can’t be sure, my research doesn’t extend that far).
But the most interesting find was actually from this site – the review of his previous album… as you can read, fulsome praise for Moller’s songwriting – hardly surprising – but a bit of a complaint about the vocals.
Could I pondered, the title of his latest effort refer to that review?
I’ve not heard the first album, but either the review was a little harsh, or Moller’s upped his vocal game on this release. While he’s no Tom Jones or Billy Mackenzie, Moller’s voice is perfectly adequate to carry a tune (it could be noted that Stuart Murdoch’s voice was, especially in early day B&S far from strong, but like Moller, the tunes transcended this).
That aside, this is an album where songwriting comes first and the actual delivery is irrelevant – the fact that it all comes together is a bonus.
‘Pop Music Bores’ title belies the subject matter and it sounds like Moller and pals are having a rare old time. He’s not afraid to call on pals to help out – the Monica Queen duet is particularly lovely – though you suspect that they’re as happy to be here as he is to have them.
Whether it’s acoustic tunes like ‘If I Was Like You’, or the title track, it’s largely enormous fun – the latter a barroom singalong that requires no outside help, but is all the better for it. “The singing’s getting better but the songs are getting worse,” he declares – well, he’s right on one count.