Review of A Tale of Two Cities Album by Mr Hudson & The Library

Mr Hudson & The Library
A Tale of Two Cities
Album Review

Mr Hudson & The Library A Tale of Two Cities Album

Everything about this CD says the word ‘quirky’, from the delightfully quirky CD case, to the delightfully quirky sleeve design, the delightfully quirky sleeve notes, and the delightfully quirky music. The whole package stands out as being different, and yes, maybe a bit strange, but nevertheless, it’s undeniably good. I’ve known many a band use quirkiness to disguise a lack of talent, this can’t be said about Mr Hudson & The Library as this album is extremely creative in both the way the songs have been written and played.

I suppose it would be easy to tag this style of music as indie, but there’s much more to it than that. There’s a gentle and almost gentlemanly way in which the songs are played, with the band producing a sound that I can best describe as ‘Café Bleu’ era Style Council, with jazz influences and almost laid back lounge approach, mixed with the kitchen sink masterpiece lyrics of My Life Story. The opening track is an exquisite cover of ‘On The Street Where You Live’, played in a kind of off-kilter rhythm and almost spoken vocal delivery. This version breathes new life into a timeless classic and gives it that ‘quirky’ edge.

The band never drift far from the laid back style, but to be honest, they don’t need to, as these songs work well and individually carry something that keeps the tracks sounding fresh, whether that be an unusual rhythm pattern, overdubbed strings, or even unusual lyrics. It’s hard to pick out any stand out tracks, as the whole album works so well, but recent single ‘Too Late, Too Late’ did stand out as a nice catchy and bouncy track, and I had a real soft spot for ‘Cover Girl’, which is a wonderfully well written love song.
I can’t quite imagine how the band recreate this style on stage, as the songs are in many ways lo-fi and I’m not sure how they could be put across, but based on this magnificent album, I’m very intrigued to find out.

Gary Williams

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