Review of Magnetic North Album by Iain Archer

Iain Archer
Magnetic North
Album Review

Iain Archer Magnetic North Album

In this world symbolism can do wonderful things: Russia believes it's powerful again because it's on the UN security council; George W Bush doesn't recognise his 'misarticulation' because he's the president of the United States, and most apparent of all, Iain Archer thinks he can produce another album because he won an Ivor Novello working on an album that wasn't even his - Snow Patrol's Final Straw.

2005's Flood The Tanks received a fairly lukewarm response and I have to say I care nothing for Magnetic North. My goodness, even five years ago when the UK would bleed for just one more note of anything resembling melancholy Coldplay, this would have seemed old and stale. Today, the rather cynical reviewer can just suggest a casual example of a lengthy acoustic parade of acts to blast Iain Archer into a discarded abyss. For one thing, half of the album with its hollow drums and uncomplicated melodies sounds like Bright Eyes; either Archer was taught to rip a record or he memorised an I'm Wide Awake It's Morning tab book. 'Canal Song', 'Frozen Northern Shores' and 'Luke's Point' take on a highly impressive simulation of Conor Oberst's tense vocal tones. Unfortunately, Magnetic North's upbeat offerings don't really help matters either; I hate to dwell painfully in the past, but the sort of heartfelt tinged indie pop found in 'Soleil' has been wrung out totally by bands such as Travis, who we have pretty much left for dead in turn. The only solace is found 'Long Jump', seemingly devoid of all meaning, but with a chorus that is palely original.

Archer may have noted how he found such inspiration in American acoustic bands like The Shins and Bright Eyes in his year off, but who takes interest in a new dog performing old tricks?

Jamie Curtis

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