Garfield's Birthday - You Are Here - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Garfield's Birthday - You Are Here

by Jeff Penczak Rating:10 Release Date:2014-09-01

Pink Hedgehog have been filling the world with beautiful sounds from over a dozen artists (including Anton Barbeau, The Black Watch, and Peter Lacey) over the past two decades and what better way to celebrate their 20th anniversary than for head ‘hog Simon Felton and his brother Shane to release their fourth album of “indie-pop for lost romantic souls”. Aided and abetted by longtime collaborator Alan Strawbridge (of Terrastock faves Lucky Bishops and fellow Hedgehog artists Cheese, Bitter Little Cider Apples, and Schnauser), Garfield’s Birthday’s first album in four years is chock full of danceable, toetapping, harmonious pop with oodles of power pop perfection and wall-to-wall Spectorish production flourishes.

Pitch-perfect harmonies flow out of every tune, with nearly every one scoring a perfect 10 on the goosepimple scale. Opener ‘Magic Bike’ hints at Tomorrow’s ‘My White Bicycle’ if performed by cult power pop legends The Pop (seek out their ’79 masterpiece Go! If you don’t already own it). ‘I’m A Star Tonight’ could’ve been a magnificent Raspberries B-side, the countrified jangle pop of ‘It’s Your Lucky Day’ marries The Byrds to The Green Pajamas, and their paean to my hometown (‘Oxford’) reminded me of America [the band] on a bright sunny afternoon, and brought more than a few tears to my smiling face. I’m off to talk to the town fathers about adopting it as our municipal anthem!

‘Radio’ is short and sweet – a Valentine to Program Directors everywhere to get with the program and add this infectious collection of perfect pop to their playlists and stop delivering “the same old song on the same old show.” Are you listening, 6Music?

I don’t know if I told you that this was one of the best albums you’re likely to hear all year that I would convince you to go out and pick it up (or load it down), but I guarantee you won’t be sorry or disappointed if you did. Then you can experience for yourself the best kept secret in British pop! For, as they sing in closer ‘Water (It Looks Like Rain)’: “Everything’s beautiful to me.” 

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