Fictonian: (Desire Lines)

review fictonian x1 cong

We often wander the webbershpere, checking out other reviews, and we’ve never read such twaddle as was being written about this. We must have read half a dozen meandering reviews by people with nothing to say. It’s possibly the audience he’s aiming at though: his Press release talks about spending time in a Fictonian reality and “types of songs that only come from this mind-set, I call it my fictonian state”. Whatever.

Dude: it’s pop music and you’re creative. Get over it. People from Lionel Richie to Mozart can hear songs already written in their heads. Just be glad you’ve got the gift.

That out of our systems: this is a very good pop album. It’s the same kind of lush, emotional pop that Longview played so effectively. In places it reminded us of sadly defunct pop band Tiny Dancers, whose lack of success and subsequent demise in a world that still has Peter Andre selling records saddens us even today.

It’s in a similar vein to cultish bands such as Portugal The Man and Milagres, whose albums probably never sold many but who still get regular plays in the Review Corner. There are many good pop bands of whom you never hear, such as M Craft; Fallout Trust’s When We Are Gone is one of our favourite tunes.

This is clever, ambitious grown-up pop that might not set off fireworks in your head the first time you hear it, but is very satisfying to listen to (the definition of good music, when all is said and done). Arguably, the daddy of this genre is Jeff Lynne in the days before ELO churned out bland pap pop — Eldorado, Face The Music and A New World Record.

This album eases its way into action, with acoustic guitar then percussion and finally husky vocals in Anticipation, a gentle song with no real chorus that anticipates nicely what is to come.

Make It Be Ours is an instantly familiar pop tune that’s like a masterclass in pop writing, with every element of a tune in there, from sudden stops to a crescendo and multi-tracked voices.

Kettle of Fish has a more chaotic sound (it starts off with eerie strings and acoustic guitar) while The Hat is mournful and slow, just voice and piano. Little Blue Book on the other hand is a luscious, swelling pop tune. Our standout is Moira Junction, which is an acoustic, nice tune that builds well, but has percussion from (possibly) the back of a chair.

This album actually came out late last year and we wrote the above and then, er, lost it. A month on, we’ve played the album a number of times, and whacking it back on for the purposes of finishing this was a joy. An excellent album.


About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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