Looking back at The Leisure Society, they've had an interesting past. This is, I guess, why I thought, yeah, I'll give that a listen. They've been nominated for an Ivor Novello award, are reasonably highly acclaimed and have been asked to be involved with various collaborations. This is perhaps why I expected more from this album release.
Alone Aboard The Ark does start off well. 'Another Sunday Psalm' is reminiscent of something Belle & Sebastian might come out with. It has that folk element to it, a good hook to really drag you in, and a good woodwind section. However, this is not a Belle & Sebastian album and, following this, it goes downhill.
'A Softer Voice Takes Longer Hearing' is also worth a mention here. There is no doubt that a lot of thought has gone into it, it is in itself quite beautiful and delicate. Yet it lacks that hook you really need to care about a song. It's as if you really have to put effort in. It could be on in the background and to be honest, I wouldn't even know.
Maybe I'm being a bit hard here. 'Fight For Everyone' actually has a slick and polished sound. Perhaps a more electronic sound is the route they should be going down, because this really suits them. It adds some real life to the album.
However, get as far as 'We Go Together' and my finger is reaching for the skip button before it brings me right down.
I'm not quite sure where to place this album. It has that sort of retro folk feel about it, but it doesn't really commit to any era at all. You can see why they might have been asked to contribute to those Beatles covers, because to my ears, they're stuck somewhere in the sixties. In fact, yes, this could provide the soundtrack to one of those nostalgic TV dramas.
A lot of effort has gone into the recording of All Aboard The Ark, and that really comes through. The wide variety of orchestral and wind instruments does add an impressive impact, yet I can't help but feel this is just fancy wrapping for what is essentially a fairly flat album.
If I had to describe this album in one word, it would be 'bland'. Sorry.
Official Site -