I’m in two halves about this album. Probably because the album itself is in two halves: the good half and the bad half.
Mr Christine has been good enough to split it right down the middle for us as well, so my recommendation would be just to listen to tracks 6-10. Previous songs are prime examples of how genre-bending can go terribly wrong, whereas these are an absolute joy of mish-mashed nonsense that nevertheless sound excellent.
The aptly named Standard Bearer marks a noticeable change in the sound (/soundS, as there doesn’t seem to be a single sound Lyle’s going for here (I mean there’s drum and bass, indie and heavy rock and plinky plonky folk? Wit?! Anyway…)) of the album: it just seems much more mature, in terms of vocals especially.
Then it’s from strength to strength Lyle goes, with breathtaking guitar solos abound as well as cutesy toe tapper Sunny With Showers and little dreamy funk-nugget Twerping. The last track does return to the dreariness of the first half but this works much better as a darkly weird end to the album. And I’ll give him it, the last refrain is funny.
[Caitlin Walker – @hirquitallient]