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Telley - Now I'm the Big Sister

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 13 / 8 / 2009



Telley - Now I'm the Big Sister
Label: Hitback Records
Format: CD

intro

Catchy seventies-influenced sunshine pop on debut album from Telley, the side project of James Parsons from Spearmint


‘Get In The Swing’ was never a good Sparks song which was confirmed by the fact that it got the lowest chart-placing of all their Island period singles. It was nothing much more than a novelty song 34 years ago and to say that it hasn’t aged at all well would be a major understatement. Apparently it’s a long-time live favourite at Telley gigs but if I was a member of Telley I wouldn’t want to confess that to the world as it doesn’t say much for the rest of their repertoire. Which is a shame as that statement about live favourite ‘Get In The Swing’ might just cost Telley a few potential fans. The line-up of Telley has changed since this album was recorded although main-man James Parsons (a member of Spearmint) is still very much a part of the band. Having composed the nine original songs on ‘Now I’m The Big Sister’ and providing guitars, bass and keyboards it’s very much Parsons’s vision that steers this album. If we forget that uninspired and pointless cover and concentrate on the original material Parsons has recorded here then the band have produced a nice collection of easy-on the-ear pop music that won’t exactly rock anyone’s world but is a pleasant way to spend half an hour. The music recalls the sounds of the mid-seventies and some of the songs such as ‘This Is What You Can’t Have’ are extremely catchy pop songs with strong arrangements and superb playing. ‘Good At What You Do’ is another song where Parsons proves that he has no trouble at all in writing tunes that will have you humming along after just one play. To nitpick a little the vocals on this song, during the verses, as with some of the other songs, are a little muddy and buried too deep in the mix but one feels that this was deliberate on Parsons part and he was trying to achieve a certain sound or effect even if it takes a little enjoyment away from the song if you are not listening to the album on headphones. The cover gives the impression that Telley are all about fun ; a band who make sunshine pop music ( why figures with brown paper bags covering their heads should evoke such feelings is beyond me, but the ones on this cover do) and for the most part that is exactly what the band do ; they play lively pop music with enough twists and turns to keep you interested and although that production doesn’t always do the songs justice basically this is a feel-good album that most music lovers will find a song or two within to enjoy. The vocals are particularly strong and on songs like the closing track, ‘Over The Sea’ where Parsons wears his love of the music of the seventies proudly on his sleeve, he proves that he really doesn’t have to rely on second-rate covers when he can easily write songs that show that he has the talent not to have to do that. Parsons should also be admired for not simply trying to make an album that duplicates the sound of Spearmint. He has taken inspiration from a different era and made a pretty good job of producing nine pleasant pop songs which stand up to repeated playing.



Track Listing:-
1 Bad Boy, Good Girl
2 All Of The Girls Want To Love You
3 Red Is My Key
4 Get In The Swing
5 Good At What You Do
6 Settle Down
7 This Is What You Can't Have
8 We Are Not Like You
9 The External Fixator
10 Over The Sea



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