Having wooed the nation with his cover of Billy Joel’s She’s Always a Woman for most of last year, Fyfe Dangerfield has returned to his band Guillemots with a new sense of purpose. With the band having gone AWOL since 2008, they’ve been working hard to produce this twelve track album.
It’s fair to say everyone has their bad days, but the lyrics in I Don’t Feel Amazing Now are particularly poignant. “Take my heart it’ll make me feel amazing” sings Dangerfield as he establishes that he’s given everything he can to the audience of the song. The instrumental melody towards the end of the track makes you want to sing along and the repetition creates the perfect formula for a radio-friendly track. First single, The Basket, is already getting radio play and deservedly so. There’s an electronic feel to the song as vocals are layered beneath Dangerfield’s voice. As one of the more upbeat and, as it happens high-pitched, tracks from the album it’s definitely one that’s been chosen to appeal to the masses and I see no reason why it won’t.
Whilst not quite challenging Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell, the band’s Sometimes I Remember Wrong is a lengthy track. At just over nine minutes long it seems a bit too much like background music for me to enjoy as one well-formed song. Yesterday Is Dead is another long track, but the repetition of the chorus works in its favour to maintain the structure in a song that builds momentum as it progresses – up until the last awkward minute of instrumental anyway. It’s in the shorter and more heartfelt Dancing in the Devil’s Shoes that I rediscover Dangerfield’s vocals that I first fell for in the John Lewis adverts. With guitar and drums adding character to the song his vocals hold their own and the chorus still feels raw.
Dangerfield’s vocals need little support but by returning to work with his band mates around him he’s created a sound record. Sure, there are songs that I feel need a bit more polishing but overall it’s definitely shown me that there’s a lot more to Dangerfield than the sickeningly happy aging woman in a red dress.