Dribs & Drabs
- Artist: Big Life Desire
- Format: CD
- Release Date:10/21/2008
Do not be fooled by the misleading moniker. The second release on Whimsical/Platform Records from the London one-man band, Keith Harbottle, is none other than a collection of carefully crafted and considered songs perfect for happy, lazy days and more contemplative moments. The first single from the album, So Inclined, leads the way establishing a robust sound with a strong, defiant rhythm section and seductive guitars musing on the pressures of expectations and choosing your own path. This then relaxes effortlessly into the understated mournfulness of quirky love song, The Road Less Travelled, with it's gentle 80s flavour and acoustic guitar. Piano pop track Wait would proudly fit on a Belle And Sebastian album - the breezy melody belying the insightful, often cutting lyrics while After All sounds like an updated Kinks track. The self-reflexive tone of If Success Came My Way raises smiles as Keith mockingly considers what fame would do to him over sparkling synths. Favourable reviews following his first release compared Keith to a number of the music world\'s finest purveyors of off-kilter indie-pop - Ian Brodie, Ian Dury, Stuart Murdoch, Baby Bird - but still he has maintained a sound all of his own. Keith creates songs that trace stories and characters that all of us can relate to - awkward break-ups and moments, the friend that knows best, dealing with change - all in his own unique way with sunny harmonies, jangling melodies and despite using machines and synths to plug musical gaps, the album still has a wholesome, organic air surrounding it. The lo-fi, almost DIY ethic of the album, akin to that of Swedish indie-pop, affords the advantage of appreciating everything, not least Keith's plaintive, honest vocals and lyrics. The result is sharp, accessible pop songs that will make you smile, sigh, tap your feet and smile again. (Claire Gilligan) \'Dribs And Drabs\' by Big Life Desire is an interesting work; as British as The Queen, as wholesome as \'bread with nowt taken out\' and as infectious as the clap but less worrying! Clever stuff from a talented and shrewd one-man-band!\' \'\'Dribs and Drabs\' is ideal music for chilling out ... \'Wait\' is one of my favorites: a sparse yet gorgeous piano melody complements Keith\'s vocal styling most effectively on this track.\' \'The songs are well arranged and melodic, especially the latter-era ELO-styled opener \'Full Of You\' with synth keyboards leading the way.\' \'Mr Harbottle also has a sense of the unusual with some weird and wonderful sounds tucked away hither and thither.\' \'We have more than enough over confident, sexually aggressive and arrogant singers around. There's certainly room for something more human.\' \'Fans of the best British music of the late 70s/early 80s will definitely get a kick out of Big Life Desire.\' \'This London one-man band creates a sound that is perfect for really lazy, happy days\' \' ... a lonesome artist battling against the odds ... I can merit Dribs and Drabs for it's British indie pop eccentricity.\' \' This is a record which charms you as soon as the synth kicks in in a few seconds into the first track ... 10 quirky unpretentious pop songs which win you over with their sheer sincerity.\'
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