Jacques Labouchere - Bi-polar Baby Stroller

by Nathan Fidler Rating:7.5 Release Date:2010-06-21

If you were to glance upon the title of this album by accident you might think Jacques to be a strange and twisted individual, but it does actually reflect both the big 'moments' of his life as well as the themes of the album as a whole.

The album starts with bar-room tinkering worthy of The Hold Steady, after which we are treated to some more mellow and introspective songs. It's a tidy little mixture of hope and fear lasting only 28 minutes in total; the overall feeling is that Jacques is powering through life. He is bitter but he's trying to make a wholesome break: "I hope you're very happy, and in love, the both of you" he sings on standout track 'When You Go'. Lyrically he strays into a more pop, saccharine area with the title track 'Bi-polar Baby Stroller' but it is a song for his new born child after all.

Jacques has brought together a very human clutch of songs based around his globetrotting, amidst which he is diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, crestfallen in love, built up again and finally becomes a father with a loving wife.

Though it may seem like a very simple formula it works well. It's mostly based around acoustic guitars but has its more rumble-tumble songs as well as sunshine swagger. There is no one emotion; just as in life, it is an eclectic mixture of success and disappointment (displayed poignantly with sombre pianos in 'Dear Dr'). One of only a handful of criticisms is that there isn't enough here to satisfy the appetite - you will find your belly growling for seconds. The man has plenty more to mine from his experiences and, indeed, his future.

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