Friday, October 16, 2009

Farrah & New Album

Farrah, a brilliant UK powerpop quartet, have finished and released a new album. It’s their fourth, a self-titled album, and so far it has only been released in Japan. A release for western citizens will follow later this year. I’ve been following the band’s activity but obviously haven’t been able to keep myself completely up-to-date as the Japanese release came out in July…

This band has a nice back catalog. Especially their first album is superb but I will mention some things about the second and third album as well. Go ahead and comment if you have more experience on the subject.

Moustache (2001)
Farrah’s debut album is a great collection of songs, to me a true classic. The album came out as god knows how many different versions, different song lists and even different album covers and colors. Anyway, the songs are magnificent, the sounds are great, the sounds (I love those percussions) are absolutely cheerful. And then there is of course Jez Ashurst’s voice… To cut a long story short, to me his voice is highly addictive as it is one of those incredibly boyish, sweet, bubblegummy powerpop voices. He is not my #1 favourite but he is definitely one of the best.

The album isn’t addictive just because of Jez, however - the songs are addictive. I will always remember Tired of Apologizing, a song that deals with relationship hardships of with such delightful peacefulness that it actually turns negative things into good. Terry is another song about a certain type of hardships. The song is really nice, catchy, sympathetic, and well... sort of psychedelic. There is also a Rubinoos cover of I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend, as well as a lovely ballad in Superman theme, Lois Lane. Living for the Weekend and Seventies Superstar are very charming, those songs I also tend to listen to when it's summer and the sun is shining, and even if it's not shining. Seriously, everything on this album is awesome! Some people might think there is a filler or two here but I wouldn’t do that. I like all the songs equally much. Great sounds, great songs, cool arrangements - indeed, a classic.

Me Too (2003)
The band’s sophomore effort is not quite as coherent as the first one was but it’s still very good. It begins with a fabulous song couple, Tongue Tied (check out the video) and Daytime TV. These songs reveal more about Jez’s geeky vocalist persona. I never get tired of the wonderfully silly drum sound of Daytime TV… A drum sound must be good if it brings a smile to the listener's face every time the song starts. This album also contains a cover song, this time it’s Joe Jackson’s It’s Different for Girls – sweet, really sweet. As a whole, Me Too is another collection of charming, slightly melancholic powerpop songs. Wake up is one of my favourites, as well as The Last Word.

Cut Out And Keep (2007)
This is also a nice album. It remains as the most distant of Farrah's albums to me, but the reason is simply that I still haven’t found the time to listen to everything on it properly. On the album there are of course again some really sweet tracks. It is impossible not to enjoy the Weezer-ish Dumb Dumb Ditty (can be heard on MySpace), and No Reason Why that has a cool horn arrangement (also on MySpace). A fancy music video was made for Fear of Flying. Check it out if you like, the song is as sweet as power pop can get - typical of Farrah.

Farrah takes care of the PR. The band likes to keep a video diary and they are even on Twitter. When it comes to their new material, it obviously sounds good. However, I’m not entirely convinced yet, so I’ll wait to hear the new album in its entirety. A part of me certainly thinks this band will probably never reach the greatness of Moustache again… Well, I shouldn’t ever say never. We’ll see.

Farrah on MySpace
Farrah on Twitter
Farrah – Official website

From the new album: Can’t Kick the Habit
From Cut Out And Keep: Fear of Flying
From Me Too: Tongue Tied
From Moustache: Terry

No comments: