Woodpigeon - T r o u b l e - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Woodpigeon - T r o u b l e

by Dan Clay Rating:6 Release Date:2016-04-04

Having been drawn towards Mark Hamilton’s rotating crew in recent years, this sixth album under the Woodpigeon banner has lofty heights to reach. After the Belle & Sebastian-esque Songbook, Treasury Library Canada and Die Stadt Mizikanten, things took a different turn on more recent efforts such as Thumbtacks and Glue, but can Hamilton recapture that whimsical glee which made those first few albums (and seeing the band live) so absorbing?

There’s no doubt anyone who can blend pop and melancholy on the delightful ‘Faithful’ can’t be doing much wrong, and indeed this ffort find Hamilton in very introspective mood. In fact, ‘Faithful’ is about as poppy as it gets sometimes on this slower but softer album.

However there’s plenty of joy to be found, especially in the opener ‘Fence’ in which Hamilton sets out his stall – ‘Don’t fence me in’ – he sings over a mournful guitar refrain. Equally ‘Devastating’ shows just how fragile but powerful his voice can be while the stomp of ‘Canada’ provides some welcome pace to the album.

And while songs like ‘Picking Fights’ and ‘Rooftops’ are enjoyable it feels like at times Woodpigeon have stripped back a little too much, losing some of that playful aroma which made those first few albums so engaging. A little too mournful and introspective at times to really make this one of their best, it feels as if opening single ‘Faithful’ – the album’s most complete and recognisably Woodpigeony song – is really the best you’re going to get from this.

If only Hamilton had been a touch more faithful to his roots and song writing skill we might have had something that merited a few more plays this spring.

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