- 22 Mar 10
Charm offensive works for ex-turn man.
This long-overdue debut solo release from ex-Turn frontman Oliver Cole (‘Ollie’ to his mates) isn’t going to win any awards for avant garde innovation, but what it lacks in edginess is more than made up for by its sheer, tear-jerking, smooth-edged, poptastic charm.
He’s had a little help from his friends – most notably Graham Hopkins, Gavin Fox and Bellie-boys Noonan and Crosby – but this is very much Cole’s own statement. Hopefully it’ll get the Turn albatross off his neck (the title track being named after Cole’s mistaken belief that the plural of which is ‘albatri’).
It opens with the chirpily familiar ‘What Will You Do?’, the Kells-born singer sounding like the lost fifth Beatle. ‘Close Your Eyes’ is a gorgeously melancholic ballad that wouldn’t be out of place in a 1980s youth disco slow set. Utilising harmonica and steel pedal guitars, the catchy, driven ‘Drug Song’ (love being the drug in question) is a real old country music foot-stomper: “Can’t do without it now, it’s every night/ and I feel wiped out/ and I don’t know why.” As with the majority of these ten songs, love is the drug Cole’s speaking of.
‘Spotlight’ is a short and bittersweet ballad about a moment of clarity in the aftermath of a relationship break-up: “You were never honest with me/ And I was all too blind to see/ That you were changing all the time/ But then a spotlight came on somewhere/ To illuminate everything/ Cast a shadow that wasn’t there before.”
Nothing new here but, it’s open, unpretentious, heartfelt, honest, tuneful and true: this is the Coleface of timeless love, loss and lament.