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SOMETHING FOR KATE – Leave Your Soul To Science

| 4 October 2012 | Reply

Label: EMI
Released: September 2012
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

One thing you don’t get from Paul Dempsey’s SOMETHING FOR KATE is big dumb rock songs with “party all night” or “I miss my baby” lyrics.  No, Dempsey is a thinker – always writing intelligent, sometimes introspective, sometimes observational lyrics that delve into the deeper and more meaningful side of modern life.

Musically this album – their first band studio album in six years – is a definite progression from their biggest selling Echolalia (2001), whilst still sounding quintessentially SFK.

Dempsey’s guitar and heartfelt vocals are where they belong – to the fore – accentuated and enhanced as always with the musicianship of Clint Hyndman’s drumming and percussion, and bassist (and Mrs Dempsey) Stephanie Ashworth.  Ashworth’s backing vocals in particular transform and elevate tracks such as the sparse Deep Sea Divers.

Lush melodies abound through these 12 often-stunning songs, some driven by guitar and drums, some awash with electronic synths courtesy of Prince’s man Bobby Sparks, and some bare and plaintiff, acoustic and vocal driven indie-folk.

Survival Expert may not be an immediate choice for a lead single, but its melodies are beguiling and repeated listens are well rewarded.  Private Rain is instantly obviously going to be a live favourite.  The Kids Will Get The Money and Sooner Or Later You’re Gonna Have To Do Something About Me are both great songs with a novelist’s narrative and profound depth.  The Fireball At The End Of The World, a more electronic number in its first half, turns into an indie rocker with real groove in it’s latter stages.  Begin is a soft and gentle album closer which sees Dempsey looking positively towards the future – and on the strength of Leave Your Soul To Science this may well just be the start of a whole new and prosperous chapter for the band.

If you hurry you can pick up the Special 2CD version, which features a 5-track “Shotgun Karaoke” disc with raw and heartfelt acoustic guitar and vocal versions of Survival Expert, Active Child song Hanging On, a chillingly melancholy take on David Bowie’s Let’s Dance and an upbeat take on World Party’s Ship Of Fools. It’s the disc closer, Stop, originally recorded by Sam Brown in the early Eighties, that really blows the mind – Dempsey pulling out a tender and fragile falsetto for a rendition that takes everything from the original and turns it inside out. It’s hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck stuff.

Category: CD Reviews

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