The School - Wasting Away and Wondering - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The School - Wasting Away and Wondering

by Jeff Penczak Rating:10 Release Date:2015-09-04

This is only the third full-length in the past five years from these charming Welsh popsters, so they obviously take their time making sure everything is perfect before releasing their hard work into the world. Their meticulous efforts are justly rewarded with another superb collection of playful pop, ’60s girl group goodness, and happy-go-lucky arrangements that make all the pain flow away like butterflies on a sunny summer afternoon. For starters, the Jam-by-way-of-Motown ‘Love Is Anywhere You Find It’ shuffles around the room like a young teenager who’s just been invited to her first prom, and the earlier single ‘All I Want From You Is Everything’ finds a permanent home (along with its EP accompaniment, ‘I Will See You Soon’ – read our thoughts here).

           Singer/songwriter/keyboardist Liz Hunt and company bring some marvelous brass embellishments to giddy hopabouts like ‘Til You Belong To Me’, and the rousing singalong closer, ‘My Arms, They Feel Like Nothing’, which is guaranteed to chase the doldrums away from even the gloomiest day. Elsewhere, the Carole King-ish ‘Don’t Worry Baby (I Don’t Love You Any More)’ proves Hunt’s heart is heavily indebted to the Brill Building cognoscenti that soundtracked our lives throughout the ’60s. The title track offers another galloping Supremes’ beat with Hunt’s smooth-as-silk vocals melting hearts at seventeen paces, like a younger Kirsty MacColl stepping in for Dame Diana.

           ‘Do I Love You?’ is also getting a lot of attention for the go-to track, and it deserves all the fuss – another stomping clapalong that’ll take up residence in your head for days. And while Hunt can’t resist the temptation to pull out one of Spector’s patented, time-tested riffs on ‘He’s Gonna Break Your Heart Once More’, I could listen to the snappy guitar break and cuddly, echoed vocals all day. In short, another essential purchase for anyone in love with good old fashioned pop music, particularly if you remember waiting for your favourite songs to come around on the radio back when you were young and frivolous. Well, here’s a whole album of ‘em just for you.

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