Ah, what’s a boy to do. A while ago I reviewed the single ‘Almost Lover’ by A Fine Frenzy and found it to be something of a melancholy joy amidst a week of otherwise throwaway pop nuggets (bad ones, that you can get from a budget frozen food shop). As a result of this I really had high hopes for the album ‘One Cell In The Sea’ which is about to get a dutiful release in the UK on Virgin.
However this is an album that has me all at sixes and sevens. Do I like it or do I dislike it. Its been a tough call. It could be for one reason, the album doesn’t half take an age to warm up and by the time it does you are about ready to go back and visit the songs that might have passed you by on the first circuit.
Once you’ve settled into the regime of singer/songwriter Alison Sudol this does become a worthwhile experience. Her songs are often intimate and have a sense of privacy about them which sometimes makes you feel almost guilty for listening. Vocally she reminds me in places of The Sundays’ Harriet Wheeler and with a gentility that illicit memories of the likes of Liz Fraser.
Musically the production crosses over from acoustic leanings into somewhat anthemic territory with the instrumentation being mixed quite densely which gives the album as a whole an elemental feel (and which might just have been the factor that made this one a demanding first listen). In conclusion, if you give this one some time it will reward you for it.
The album is out on the 16th June.