Following the release of his debut album â1â, Simple Kid decided to take some much needed time out after the pressures of the music industry began to take their toll. Now back revitalised and ready to surf the waves once more, the London based Irish man is back with the appropriately named follow-up record â2â (well they donât call him Simple Kid for nothing).
The Simple Kid sound consists of bluesy guitar arrangements, ultra-cool drum machine rhythms and pulsating bass with lashings of banjo, organ and synthesised backdrops. The result is a deranged and astonishingly endearing take on folk-pop that if truth be told, couldnât be any further from simple. The lyrics might be simplistic in the pop sense intended, but with the often Beach Boys-esque and Beck meets Devendra Banhart type vocal deliveries they strangely begin to sound like the best lyrics youâve ever heard.
The production on this record was the subject of an ageing 8-track cassette machine, and as a result the output is incredibly raw, over-driven and occasionally ridden with hiss, Sounds bad right? Wrong. It sounds fucking great. Rich, beautifully warm and blissfully romantic, who would have thought that these glaringly obvious DIY imperfections would be the perfect antidote to any record?
Enthralling from beginning to end, I actually feel guilty about mentioning highlights (such is the consistency of this record) but Iâm going to name them anyway, It begins with the album opener âLilâ King Kongâ which is a bluesy, banjo affair with a massive Beck influence. The blues mayhem continues in âSelf-Help Bookâ which has âsing-alongâ written all over it, and âThe TwentySomethingâ continues in a similar vein with a chorus to die for. Arguably the biggest highpoint is the intense showcase âSerotoninâ featuring some amazing trip-hop beats and warped string samples among an epic soundscape, and if that wasnât already enough, the beautiful verses & chorus really drive the song beyond your wildest expectations. Last but certainly not least is âMommy n Daddyâ with its brash, distorted bass and crisp, rocking drums and verging on Banhart-like vocals.
In the end, â2â is a mind-blowing masterpiece that should have the likes of Beck, Jamie Lidell & Jim Noir literally choking on their cornflakes. It really is that good. Simple Kid? I think not. This is quite easily one of the best records of 2006.
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