Mud Kiss – June 2013
Almost inconceivably, it’s been six year since the last album appeared by The Electric Soft Parade and much has apparently changed over that period of time for one of Britain’s most underrated of bands. “Idiots” showcases a more stripped back approach to 2007’s “No Need to be Downhearted,” which verged on occasion into almost prog rock territory. There’s an overall joyous feel to the latest opus, projected immediately through “The Sun Sets Around Here” and “Summertime in My Heart,” songs of love, radiating happiness from within, musically light and airy, impossible not to experience a warm feeling inside as guitars jangle and keyboards swirl.
Debut album “Holes in the Wall” and second outing “The American Adventure” ventured readily into darker, harsher edges, here, the overall approach far softer, gorgeous melodies proliferate, suggesting the siblings White, inhabiting a more peaceful and established stage of life. Even the tender, more introspective tones of “The Corner of Hightown and Montefiore” with a “I Won’t Forget” refrain, retains a feeling of optimism, finally acquiescent with personal loss.
Vocally, Thomas and Alex never sounded better, beautiful harmonies flourish and bloom in and amongst subtle musical suggestions towards Big Star, Teenage Fanclub even Prefab Sprout and The Beatles. “Idiots” an album designed for Summer, an exquisite, heartfelt collection of songs, which even in the more sombre moments has the capacity to uplift. I seriously doubt you’ll hear a more beautiful record all year. The only “Idiots” around here, those who choose to ignore The Electric Soft Parade. – Andy Barnes
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