Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Someone To Drive You Home - The Long Blondes

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Rarely is the occasion when upon purchasing a CD I listen to it from start to finish first time around without skipping a single moment. Even rarer is the occasion when I listen to it a second time straight through right afterwards. However, it's only once in a blue moon that I can listen to an album straight through for a third time in a row.

This my friends, was one of those occasions.

And don't be fooled into thinking this was purely because of the traffic jam I found myself in last night as I could quite easily have changed the CD or at least skipped certain tracks. But I didn't. And I didn't because this is quite simply a brilliant album.

Those "in the know" spotted the Long Blondes a couple of years ago. I didn't. But there is something endearing about purchasing a debut album on the day of it's release with four singles already on it, although I am informed that some of them have been suitably souped up for this release.

The first thing obvious that the Long Blondes have going for them is lead singer Kate Jackson. Smart, sexy and cool, and although she doesn't actually write most of the lyrics (that's the job of guitarist Dorian) she carries them with such conviction, and adds that all important X-Factor to the equation.

But of course that would mean nothing without the tunes and they match the lyrics every step of the way. Within two or three listens it feels like you're listening to a classic album that you've known for years.

It's difficult to single out any particular tracks for specific praise as this is simply a delight from start to finsh but if pushed I would say my favourites were Once And Never Again (with the delightful starting couplet of "nineteen, you're only nineteen for god's sake, you don't need a boyfriend), Seperated By Motorways, You Could Have Both and Weekend Without Makeup.

If you ever thought what Pulp-esque lyrics would sound like if matched with Blondie-style tunes, then this is the record for you. And as this album shows, the end result is something very special indeed. In a year when the Arctic Monkeys didn't quite live up to the hype another group from Sheffield have given us an album which has it all.

And apologies to the Pipettes, but The Long Blondes are now my new favourite band!!!

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