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Ten Of Swords
While Marc Carroll is definitely possessed of a considerable talent, this solo outing unfortunately sees him spreading it too thinly over writing, playing and production duties
Stephen Robinson, 28 May 2002
Impressed as I was with his recent ‘Crashpad Number’ single, I’ve got to confess that I expected better from this album.
While Marc Carroll is definitely possessed of a considerable talent, this solo outing unfortunately sees him spreading it too thinly over writing, playing and production duties, with the consequence that a lot of what’s presented seems mannered. Often the best rock music is produced as a result of conflict and resultant compromise among creative forces within bands. I can’t help but wish that Carroll had had someone to have vicious rows with. While the aforementioned single and ‘Idiot Song’ are each fine servings of pop-tart, songs like ‘Mrs Lullaby’ and the Richard Hawley-like ‘Swansong’, while pleasant enough, remain just that. The inclusion of a rocked-out version of ‘Michael Row The Boat Ashore’ is a blunder of Spinal Tap proportions. It’s not clever and it’s not funny.
As you’d expect from Carroll, there are flashes of brilliance. The hypnotic psychedelia of ‘In Silence’ hints at a possible future direction and is a good as any of the Stone Roses finer moments and ‘Weird Dreams’ is as close to a perfect pop single as I’ve heard in a while. But it’s not enough. For someone who has become synonymous with the ‘angry young man’ tag, this is tame fare indeed.