Hodgson was the Kaiser Chiefs’ drummer and main songwriter but don’t expect any laddish sing-alongs. While drunken students chanting: “Ruby, Ruby, Ruby” might help his pension pot, he’s better than that and has written tunes for the likes of Mark Ronson, Hurts and Shirley Bassey. He plays all the instruments on this album; he and Andy Burrows, the talented one from Razorlight, are carrying on the tradition of talented drummers started by Maxwell Roach and continued by Don Henley and Phil Collins.
The songs on here are all good; he sounds like a man with lots of experience in writing songs and getting them recorded. The downside is that… he sounds like a man with lots of experience in writing songs and getting them recorded; there’s not a lot in the way of excitement. Nothing on here demands to be played over and over.
He’s clearly fond of 70s pop and playing it had us racking our memories for long-forgotten tunes, bands like Alessi and their 1977 hit Oh Lori, or Pilot (Magic and January), all harmony, catchy hooks and silky vocals that lean to the falsetto, but no stone-cold classics.
Opener RSVP has some funky Isley Brothers-style guitar, lots of falsetto harmony and a feel-good, summery sound. Honest Face follows, opening with a tight, bouncy beat before turning into another feel-good fast tune that sounds like it reached number three in 1974.
We guess he won’t be playing stadiums if he tours this but it’s an album he can be proud of. His career is probably going to be like Pilot founder David Paton and guitarist Ian Bairnson, who ended up in the Alan Parsons Project then played with Kate Bush, appearing on her debut The Kick Inside and Lionheart. Talented people are always going to find good work.