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Would Be Goods - Brief Lives

  by Caleb Smith

published: 13 / 3 / 2002

Would Be Goods - Brief Lives
Label: Fortuna POP!
Format: CD


Sparsely eclectic and distinctive album from the Fortuna Pop indie pop label that in the space of its sixteen tracks" brings to mind Gaelic 60's pop, Nick Cave, the Mamas and Papas, and English folk."

I was surprised the first few times I listened through this album as it was different than I assumed an album on Fortuna Pop to be. That's not to say that Fortuna Pop have a set style in what they do. It's just I wasn't expecting to hear a record that stands on its own quite so much. Based around the song writing, guitar and vocals of Jessica Griffin, this sixteen-track album never seems to drag or hang about. There's not much unrequired playing in sight. In fact although the arrangements aren't sparse (strings, piano, organ harpsichord and more all present), there's very little here that's not necessary to the songs' make up. As well as having a very pure and clear vocal style that's reminiscent in its annunciation of Heavenly except for the lack of sha la la action, the songs bring to mind Gaelic 60's pop, Nick Cave, the Mamas and Papas, and English folk…so there's a pretty wide scope within the tracks on the album, but all eventually fall back and rest easy on the dominant vocal. On hearing this I ended up following the words as if they were spoken directly to me. Not in an authoritarian or dogmatic sort of way, but much more as part of an intimate discussion with the overriding message being don't assume, just listen.

Track Listing:-
1 Mystery Jones
2 Bad Lord Byron
3 Vivre Sa Vie
4 Flashman
5 Esperanza
6 Richard III
7 A Season In Hell
8 Fancy Man
9 Dilettante
10 Butterfly Kiss
11 Diminuendo
12 Rich And Strange
13 Whitsun Bride
14 Trying To Be Bad
15 Elegant Rascal
16 1999

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