Simon Felton - Topsy Turvy

by Jeff Penczak Rating:8 Release Date:2017-11-03
Simon Felton - Topsy Turvy
Simon Felton - Topsy Turvy

Felton has been running his Pink Hedgehog cottage industry (no doubt out of his own cottage on the Isle of Portland) for nearly 25 years. During that time, he’s released some of the most infectious pop tunes you’re likely to hear, not the least of which came from his own pen. Besides his duties in Garfield’s Birthday, Felton began releasing solo albums back in 2009. This, his fifth, is the final part of his “therapeutic trilogy”, comprising also Emotional Feedback (2015) and Return To Easton Square (2016). Don’t let the tag fool you – these are not mopey wails of self-pity, but heartfelt love songs and the occasional toe-tapper that’ll chase the doldrums away in no time flat.

     ‘The Ghost of Christmas Past’ isn’t exactly the cheeriest holiday song you’ll hear this season, but Felton’s Neil Young fascination weaves its way through fuzzy guitar lines and a down tempo, dirgy melody. ‘Lost and Found’ perks things up with some fizzy pop couched in multi-layered harmonies. (Felton recorded everything on his laptop using real – guitar/bass – and imagined instruments. The string embellishments on ‘Your Place or Mine’ are well-served by this approach, although the drums do feel a tad tinny throughout.)

     There’s a soulful streak permeating ‘Out of Time’ and ‘The Writing’s On The Wall’ (featuring a guitar solo from his bandmate in Wilson, Steve Wilson) that could have landed it on a Simply Red album back in the day, ‘Smile For The Camera’ is an achingly gorgeous love song tinged with tearful regret that oozes Morrisseyesque brilliance, and ‘You Should Know Better By Now’ is a soft and cuddly group hug that Brian Wilson would, er, Smile over!

     Now that Felton’s graduated from his therapy session, I hope we’ll continue to hear more from this unsung hero of introspective pop. Physical copies are limited to 50 and there’re only a few left via his bandcamp site, so scurry on over and pick up this charmer.

Overall Rating (1)

5 out of 5 stars

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