Monday, July 23, 2018

Album Review :: Kyle Falconer - No Thank You


Kyle Falconer

No Thank You

July 27 2018 (Riverman Records) 


Words: Richard Cobb

With The View having released five albums, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that they were struggling to live up to their initial hype of late. Whilst die-hard fans of the Dundee band were still lapping up each release and consistently selling out shows north of the border, it was clear that a time out was needed to try to freshen things up.

Though it’s been a more turbulent than a Ryanair flight couple of years for Kyle Falconer in terms of battling personal issues, this seems to have re-lit his flame for songwriting and he doesn’t hold back on ‘No Thank You.’ It’s apparent early doors on this debut solo album that this is the record he needed to make, and at times it’s almost like an open shower curtain with Falconer leaving nothing to the imagination through the honesty of his words.

‘Poor Me’ is unquestionably one of the best songs the frontman has written. It’s raw, honest and more musically diverse than anything his band have released to date. The use of strings and piano add welcome atmosphere and emotion to the album opener and they perfectly prop up the unravelling cries of ‘poor me, poor me, poor me another drink.’

Every solo album needs at least one ballad and here it arrives in the form of the romantic ‘Kelly.’ Beginning its life as a therapeutic folk song, before evolving into something of a warming anthem.

One gripe I had with Falconer’s band, The View is that his signature vocals and songwriting talent are from time to time lost in the frantic pace of the rest of the track, but this is far from the case here, his vocals take the driving seat with the band complementing this with a western vibe throughout from the backseat of the car.

‘Japanese Girl’ sadly bares no resemblance to Aneka’s ‘Japanese Boy’ but it’s one of the peaks here. The acoustic piano and tea towel drumming form the bones of the song and keep the sound tight throughout, making it very easy on the ears.

Single ‘Family Tree’ feels as though it’s the centrepiece of the record and this song more than any demonstrates the need for this album.

Without doubt this is Kyle Falconer’s best full work since his band’s debut 11 years ago, and he’s managed this through sheer graft which can’t have been easy. Firstly, to put his demons to one side and secondly to make a near perfect album of reflection from his experiences, in many ways defying the odds of expectation. It’ll no doubt be easy for pessimists to write this off before they’ve even heard it, but if you’re in any way curious about this album, you’ll be rewarded with a thoughtful and powerful piece of art that Falconer and his new band have created. It’s also probably a shoe-in for a Mercury nomination.

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