Tracyanne & Danny - Tracyanne & Danny - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Tracyanne & Danny - Tracyanne & Danny

by Jeff Penczak Rating:10 Release Date:2018-05-25
Tracyanne & Danny - Tracyanne & Danny
Tracyanne & Danny - Tracyanne & Danny

True confession: Tracyanne Campbell is one of my favourite songwriters. Her knack for earwig melodies with intelligent, though not stuffy, intellectual lyrics is unsurpassed. So I’m sat here on her birthday, digging her new project with fellow singer/songwriter Danny Coughlan, late of Crybaby. Campbell provided some of the finest music I’ve enjoyed over the last decade fronting Glaswegian poppers Camera Obscura, but the tragic death of keyboardist Carey Lander from cancer in 2015 seems to have ended this brilliant band’s career. So it is a joy to hear her back in the studio. Their collaboration is manna from heaven for the CamObscurious, building on Tracyanne’s recent infatuation with country rock.

Opener ‘Home and Dry’ is tender, marshmallow pop that will delight obsessive fans of Spain’s Elefant stable (The Yearning spring to mind), not coincidentally Camera Obscura’s original home. If Tracyanne got any closer to the mic, she’d be licking your eardrums! The cha-cha sambo of ‘It Can’t Be Love Unless It Hurts’ adds a pop sheen to Morrissey’s mopey, maudlin misery (apparently a Crybaby specialty), with the pair’s musicologist tendencies tossing in the melody from The Cascades’ ‘Rhythm of The Rain’ for good measure! And there’s a not unexpected Nancy & Lee vibe to the bubbly, jazz-inflected ‘Deep In The Night’. A nice sax solo adds to the laidback mood.

If ‘Alabama’ isn’t the lead single I’d dump the label and find someone who will release it as such. It’s got Campbell’s cuddly melody, delicate guitar solo, and head-nodding good timey groove that will accompany your twinkle-toed gallop throughout the summer. It’s the most CamOb-like track here and may even have been left over from the back catalogue. Quite simply, the song of the year so far.

Coughlan’s spotlight ‘Jacqueline’ is a weepy ‘60s-styled ballad that would have worked perfectly in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks reboot – I can just picture the pair performing this at the Roadhouse! Or Julee Cruise! Too bad it wasn’t ready in time. Maybe for the next series? Then the nostalgic ‘2006’ shoo-bop-she-bops into your ear with Campbell’s angelic vocal rearranging your heartstrings and turning your legs into a bowl of wobbly spaghetti. Finally, there’s the tribute to [Georgia] ‘O’Keeffe’, as expansive as the Santa Fe desert and as warmly received as Campbell’s earlier ‘Dory Previn’ tribute. An early candidate for my favourite album of 2018. Pure pop bliss with a country swing and a melancholic tinge!

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