Saturday, 4 February 2012

Smiley - Smiley's Friends In High Places Review

Albums by drummers? Who would had thunk it! We do of course jest and Steve "Smiley" Barnard has gathered some of his friends together to help on on this fine release. Some names will be familiar such as Chesney Hawkes who takes the vocal on "Halcyon Days" or Mike Peters who provides backing vocals on the Madchester-esque "Stars" but many, like Kerry Schultz, are great discoveries. Kerry sings the beautifully crafted ballad "Leave You Now" whose lyrics will certainly resonate with a lot of people and also the album closer "L.O.L.A" which has nothing to do with The Kinks or cherry cola...C.O.L.A. cola!

For me stand out tracks are "So So Long" and "Hearing Is Deceiving". "So So Long is very radio friendly and would do well if programmers actually took a chance on "independent" releases. Think "Hey There Delilah" by The Plain White T's covered by The Beatles or even The Monkees or something with jangly Rickenbackers! (ok maybe not The Byrds!)

"Hearing Is Deceiving" (which is solely performed by Smiley) would be heralded a classic if it had Noel Gallagher's name attached to it.

Other tracks such as "You" would not sound out of place on today's commercial radio stations nor would the previously mentioned "Stars". This album has a lot of diverse influences and isn't afraid to wear them on it's sleeve (so to speak) and you will find a little bit of Crowded House in the mix as well which is no bad thing.

So will this album get the attention, praise and sales it deserves? I'm sad to say it won't unless someone takes a chance and puts music rather than money first. Ask your radio station to play "So So Long" who knows if enough of us do it someone might just take that chance!

Order your copy HERE!

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