The Boy Least Likely To
"The Best Party Ever"
The Best Party Ever is a fitting name for the debut album from UK based Boy Least Likely To and listening to the weird and wonderful sounds which twist and turn throughout each track immediately transport you back to the magical innocence before the horrid years of adolescence took hold. Instrumentalist Pete and singer/lyricist Jof playfully express their fears of growing up and dealing with all the problems of adulthood by looking at the world through young and innocent eyes, and do so by using a series of rubbery quacks, warbling recorders, hand claps, twinkly glockenspiels, banjos and sparkly synths. You may think that all this sounds a bit twee, especially when I tell you that tigers, monsters and scary spiders are all subject matter, but in actual fact the cuteness of these songs is where the genius lies. The Boy Least Likely To invites us to take a step back from our weary and hardened view of the world and have another look through the untainted eyes of youth.
Opening track Be Gentle With Me initiates our strange trip by staring skyward into the big bad universe and outlining all of our worst fears about life, love and relationships. "I just want to sparkle for a moment / Before I fizzle out and die" is as poignant as it is poetic, as is the heart-achingly paranoid "I'm happy because I'm stupid / Scared of spiders, scared of flying". This quiet neuroses is a thread that is woven into the whole fabric of the album, and ranges from the difficulties of being friends with something "that eats butterflies / and pencil sharpenings" in My Tiger My Heart to the horror of first encounters with death in the warbling and wistful The Battle Of The Boy Least Likely To. The wonderful Paper Cuts is another example of the earnest helplessness felt by the Boy Least Likely To against a constantly changing world and the ultimate fragility of our little personal world: "I used to read before I went to sleep / But now I just pass out watching TV". 'Monsters' is about the terror felt by the narrator when his friends start "Picking patterns out for curtains / Making friends with all the other monsters / Pushing little baby monsters around the shops in prams" but ends mournfully by saying how maybe he'd be happier if he did too.
Despite all the undertones of paranoia and insecurity, listening to The Best Party Ever is the most good honest clean fun you can have without going and taking over the local playground and staying on the swings all day. All the emotion of the lyrics adds a lot of weight to the eccentricity of the music and the result is a complete and cuddly package all wrapped in sparkly paper and bound with a big red bow. I would easily rate this as one of my albums of the year and would recommend it to anyone who has ever thought, as Jof did "I just wish that I could still / See the world sometimes / The way I saw the world when I was young."
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