Review of Fyfe Dangerfield's album Fly Yellow Moon released through Geffen Records.
Fifties fictional detective sounding, resident Guillemots front man and non-American visa owner, Fyfe Dangerfield crams in a solo album in little more than a working week prior to his bands third album. 'Fly Yellow Moon' is the Brummies latest creative release, still further raising his stock as a song writer of great merit.
Fyfe Dangerfield had become all loved up and had a rose tinted, summer sun and delirium disposition to show for it. (On the album at least...they say that FD has since lost the love interest that so inspired many of the tracks on the album!). They also say "He knows melody like Loyd Grossman knows pasta sauce". Well, Mr melody maker may have all the harmonious tunes you can handle but does that necessarily translate into a decent/good/great song? Fans of the Beatles would generally say yes, so are there any detractors? Well, maybe.
The album, 'Fly Yellow Moon' is full of promise and has elements that raise the bar above generic balladry or a pop stars want and self indulgence. There is however a lack of coherence and focus and a failure to completely engage. For the most part the album is very harmonious and melodic, but altogether underwhelming. Overall it has an almost late sixties/early seventies soft focus feel to it. 'So Brand New', is a foppy haired, cheese cloth and velour, Mamas And Papas flavoured song that seems to have skipped a few generations. The opener 'When You Walk In The Room' could be this weeks darlings of choice in session on Jo Whiley's 'Live Lounge' doing an alternative cover of a 'Take That' song and so thus making it sound 'cool'. Next up is 'Barricades' a song that is so written for late night cliched wine and weeping moments, it comes agonisingly close to David Gray but falls just short of going completely James Blunt. (Await to hear it any day soon on Steve Wrights Sunday Love Songs!) 'High On The Tide' has a dreamy disposition and unashamedly easy listening pop disposition. 'Faster Than The Setting Sun' is a nice little oddity on the album, a lot pacier, baring no relation to what has preceded it, and sounding like early British Sea Power meets 'Rifles' era BRMC. (A welcome and surprising break in proceedings). 'Livewire' slows things down again to deliver one of the best tracks on the album. Its minimal arrangement and delicate vocals letting the song flower. On the recent single 'She Needs Me' (Well she did then) Fyfe goes all Macca meets ELO to do some sort of Bond theme B-Side, its cheery and cheesy in equally joyous measure.
There is a feeling of warmth and happiness to be had from hearing Mr Dangerfields album, 'Fly Yellow Moon'. As well as the production, the 'not of its time' feel owes much to both the style and delivery of Tim and Jeff Buckley as well as early 70's proponent of gentle pop/folk (Folk/pop...you decide) Nick Drake. Some of its more polished pop moments also have a touch of the Daniel Wylie about them. Fyfe Dangerfield's first foray into solo territory following his romantic interlude is good but not great, tuneful and noteworthy but no classic. Has he ultimately saved his best for the next Guillemots album? We will see.