In Like Flynn 2015
Back on track after a 10-year recording sabbatical, English band mark their 30th anniversary with a stylistic twist in the enchanting tale.
The use of his “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” in Mika’s “Relax” and Pixie Lott’s “Coming Home” might keep Nick Van Eede’s bank account healthy in the last decade, but that doesn’t account for his own group’s shunning a studio since 2005’s “Capture” which saw the resurrection of CC’s trademark. That also doesn’t account for the title of its follow-up’s first single, although “Till The Money Run$ Out” suggests exactly so – in a humorous way, of course – just because there’s a declaration of a change in it, the group embracing soul idiom while retaining their pop hooks.
Brass licks wrapping around a six-string twang reminiscent of TRAVELING WILBURYS – as is the aforementioned opener’s “gypsy in a caravan” motif – create a warm feeling, yet the flow can easily turn hot here. And it does, once “As Far As I Can See” breaks into samba after taking a blurry-eyed longing from an Appalachian quiet to an orchestral heights with its anthemic guitar rise. This sense of movement is the album’s undercurrent, what with the cover artwork showing no rust on a valiant knight or the travelogue hung in “Looking For A Friend” on slow, sexy funk, and it’s not an easy ride: the brooding, piano-led “Berlin In Winter” unfurls into dramatic uplift before coiling back again, whereas the emotional load of “San Ferian” is distilled to an acoustic celebration of life.
The reference to blues links it to the spiritual “Kept On Loving You” with the ghosts of Otis and Ben E. lurking there, but “Biggest Mistake Of My Life” frolics on the “fifty shades of grey” paleness which is a setting for the finale, “She Just Happened To Be Beautiful”: a sweetly fatigued song and the record’s summary. It is wonderful – well-worth the decade-long wait, so please, do what the album’s title says.