Album – Shorthand for Love – Cardboard Cowboy

Posted by admin on May 18th, 2006

I’ve seen a lot written about this band. Many seem to classify them as some form of country music. To me they are as close to country as the Pogues are. Yes there’s a tinge, but that’s about it. This ain’t no Dolly Parton, although I’m sure there are some greatits on here. In fact there’s an interesting hint of Blur and Madness about the band, as well as a few other influences thrown in for good measure.

There’s one consistent theme that runs throughout the album and that’s very much the sound of a band having fun. There’s a looseness that just permeates through the whole album and certainly gives me the impression that this was recorded fairly spontaneously. I’m not saying that to be critical, far from it, but this is a fairly lo-fi production and it works very well.

The album starts off with “Lady Brown”, which is very much in the laid back groove. It’s probably the second track “I’m Not Sleeping” where many people get the country vibe from, but as I said before, this is more Pogues than Parton. Following that is “Kid Koala”, which has an almost Beatlesque feel to it. And so the album goes on, for the next 9 tracks. This is an interesting album, in that even though there’s an eclectic mix of sounds and influences, it gels together very nicely as an album.

I can see Cardboard Cowboy as part of the new Brit Pop scene to come. Things have been pretty quiet since the mid 1990, as Blur, Oasis, Pulp seem very much the old guard, when compare to the excellent bands rising up through the ranks.

I’d also like to give a big pat on the back with regards to the website. Flash is great, but it should only enhance a site and not take it over. The Cardboard Cowboy’s site is a great example of band site done right. Good stuff.

Conclusion : An interesting mix of an album. With a lo-fi, Badly Drawn Boy style of production and a laid back groove, this is a highly enjoyable album.

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