Monday, February 27, 2006

My Top 20 of 2005, #9: Randy & The Bloody Lovelies-Lift

Randy & The Bloody Lovelies' Lift was one of the truly special and unique releases of 2005. I was quite happy to see it be featured by Not Lame the other night, as this album deserves all the exposure it can get.

But while Not Lame used contemporaries like Ben Folds and the Argument for comparison purposes, Lift takes me back to the sophisticated piano pop and distinctly English-influenced pop that was commonly heard in the first half of the 1970s. The piano men most in evidence here as influences are Randy Newman and early Elton John, and I even hear some Gilbert O'Sullivan and Leo Sayer (the Leo Sayer of "Long Tall Glasses" that is). There's a bluesy, almost cabaret-style undercurrent to many of these tracks as well. And the vocals here remind me of Chris Rea circa "Fool (If You Think It's Over)". All in all, piano pop doesn't get much more tuneful and sophisticated than Randy Wooten & Co. have managed here.

There are so many great tracks on this album that I almost feel I'm slighting some by pointing out others. But particular standouts are "Pop" (as in "I'm about to"), "Isabella" (featuring a great slinky piano groove), "Red Carpets" (the outstaning opener), the early Elton-influenced "New Disguise", and the beautiful ballads "Wondrous Things" and "Blue Horizons". If what I've described is remotely your bag, do your best to scrounge $13-15 from your couch cushions, break open the piggy bank, or dip into your child's college fund and pick this one up.

And make sure you check out their site. Let it launch, and watch the amusing Kiev character in the hotel lobby. Just make sure you click on him and select "shut up" when you stream the album, which you can do so there with a few well-placed clicks. You could start at the beginning, but go right ahead to "Pop", one of my top 10 tracks of the year. If you're put off by Kiev, or can't figure out how to shut him up, go over to their myspace page, where you can stream "Pop", "Wondrous Things", "Blue Horizons" and the also-outstanding "Twilight Kids".

Oh, and did I mention that you can get this album via eMusic? One more reason to subscribe if you haven't already.

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