# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Son Of A Plumber - Son Of A Plumber

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 23 / 12 / 2005

Son Of A Plumber - Son Of A Plumber
Label: Capitol Records
Format: CD


Evocative and soulful double CD 60's influenced pop from Son of a Plumber, one of the several projects of Swedish musician Per Håkan Gessle, who is internationally best known for also playing in the much maligned Roxette

Most music lovers are guilty of a kind of snobbery, especially during those formative years when we first realise the power of music. We all have our few favourite bands who make that sound we love and we stick with them, for the most part, through good and bad. Then, as we get older we discover more bands, more genres and widen our musical tastes. Well, most of us do. Some of us can even appreciate music we don’t really like; we can actually understand that while we wouldn’t go out of our way to hear a certain song or band again we can see why people find some pleasure in it. Then, round about that point in life where you spend more time worrying about your hair growing where you don’t want it to as opposed to where you’d like it to continue growing from, most of us come to the conclusion that the music we grew up with really was the best there ever was. That’s not to say that we can’t still appreciate whatever music is being produced today. It’s just that we know it was better all those years ago! Per Håkan Gessle was born in 1959 and his hair, by recent photos at least, is not giving him any problems at the moment, but at 47 years of age he has finally, after years of making music, realised that the music of his youth really was the best and produced a double album of 60's (ok I’m assuming that Gessle was a music fan from the age of 7; the sound of mid to late 60's looms large all over these songs) and 70's influenced music. Gessle has taken on the name of ‘Son Of A Plumber’ for this collection which at the moment is only available in his native Sweden, an international release is not planned until later this year. One can only hope that when the album hits the racks in the U.K. and the States that Gessle, although still extremely photogenic, will opt for different cover art and not stick with the one showing him browsing through vinyl LP racks for then the snobbery will kick in. Gessle, you see, is guilty of being in Roxette and even more guilty of being a major force in his native land in a band called Gyllene Tider (Golden Times). Although that band did actually record some good songs that should have been successful outside of his homeland ( Kung Av Sand being a good example) for the most part they wouldn’t have worried the charts nor the inhabitants of anywhere outside of Scandinavia. Gessle did throw the odd gem in the direction of Roxette, ‘June Afternoon’ was proof where his heart really was and in a side project in 1996 which he named the Lonely Boys, Gessle along with a couple of the Gyllene Tider players, showed their love of the 60's and 70's when they released not only an album of originals ( with Jagger-Richards ‘So Much In Love’ thrown in for good measure) which harked back to that golden era but actually recreated the album covers and layout of that time. There was no doubt where these guys were coming from. Since then Gessle has released a number of solo albums and while each one has had more than it’s fair share of good, melodic pop songs Gessle has so far failed to produce that 60's inspired classic that those who could hear how much respect the man has for that era knew he was capable of doing. With ‘Son Of A Plumber’ Gessle has finally done it. He has released a double CD containing 24 songs recalling those golden days and done it better than most. But because of this snobbery which we are all guilty of to, the album is unlikely to sell in the quantities it rightly should do outside of Sweden, where, incidentally it has been hailed for what it is in some reviews; as his best work ever. One mention of Roxette is likely to scare off a good number of potential buyers. That must frustrate Gessle no end, for there are thousands out there who love the pure pop sounds that Gessle makes who are never going to hear his music as it won’t be played in the ‘cool’ places or show in the charts or magazines that matter. Gessle should be admired on one hand for not leasing this to a label like Not Lame or Rainbow Quartz where it would be snapped up by fans of 60's- influenced bands, but on the other hand, it would be good to see such well played and produced music reaching an audience who would love it. One look at the song’s titles says it all really; ‘I Never Quite Got Over The Fact That The Beatles Broke Up’ (not actually mentioned in the song at all), the instrumental ‘Ronnie Lane’, ‘Are You An Old Hippie, Sir?’ (part of The Junior Suite) all show what Gessle was aiming for and achieving with this album. Even the short instrumental ‘Kurt’ with it’s echoes of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly that opens the second disc recalls that era. The dream-like ‘Beatles….’ follows that instrumental and there is no turning back from then on. One Helena Josefsson lends some outstanding vocals on this song as she does throughout the whole album. One can only wonder where she has been hiding. But if proof were needed that Gessle has turned in a pure/power-pop classic here just listen to ‘Substitute (for the real deal)’, where Gessle pulls out all the stops and can lay claim that, for now at least, he is in a class of one when it comes to writing, playing and producing pop songs that are going to stand the test of time. In a perfect world Gessle would be blasting out of radios the world over, not just in his native land, and annoying the hell out of anyone who doesn’t love the classic sound of 60's pop. Time to shake off those blinkers and accept Gessle for what he is; a master of the three minute pop song.

Track Listing:-
1 Drowning In Wonderful Thoughts About Her
2 Jo-Anna Says
3 I Have A Party In My Head (I Hope It Never Ends)
4 C'mon
5 Week With Four Thursdays
6 Hey Mr DJ (Won't You Play Another Love Song)
7 Late, Later On
8 Ronnie Lane
9 Are You An Old Hippie, Sir?
10 Double-Headed Elvis
11 Something In The System
12 Speed Boat To Cuba
13 Come Back Tomorrow (And We Do It Again)
14 Kurt - The Fastest Plumber In The West
15 I Never Quite Got Over The Fact That The Beatles Broke Up
16 Substitute (For The Real Deal)
17 Waltz For Woody
18 Carousel
19 I Like It Like That
20 Something Happened Today
21 Brilliant Career
22 Burned Out Heart
23 Drowning In Wonderful Thoughts About Her (Reprise)
24 Making Love Or Expecting Rain
25 (no audio)
26 Jo-Anna Says Farewell

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors