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| 18 February 2021 | Reply

March 2020
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Standing Next To Me, the opening song on Graham Gouldman’s new solo album is a gorgeously sweet tale of playing in Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band a couple of years ago – with ex-Beatle Starr himself playing the drums. It’s such a lovely song, perfectly encapsulating Gouldman’s songwriting genius. It’s also worth noting that in taking a simple sentiment – how much he enjoyed touring with a legend – and turning that into a seemingly effortlessly catchy and irrepressible tune, he betrays not only his talent but also his humble nature.

Mind you, we shouldn’t expect anything less from the man behind 10cc, themselves legends with a back story of timeless classics, not to mention a slew of written-to-order hits for others in the ‘60s including Herman’s Hermits, The Yardbirds and Neil Sedaka.

Modesty Forbids seems more personal, more intimate, than 10cc. That’s Love Right There is a love song so suburban it almost hurts. He shows hints of smooth jazz in this song and elsewhere, whilst instrumental Russian Doll has a proggy feel to it.

It’s Not You It’s Me was written for the modern incarnation of The Yardbirds, though it’s hard to see how the blues rockers would have handled such a Gouldman-esque track.

Wake Up Dreamer and Hangin’ By A Thread touch on darker instabilities but still manage to sound upbeat due to Gouldman’s excellent cast of musicians, including drummers Greg Bissonette and Lonnie Wilson, Graham Pleeth’s keys and more.

Waited All My Life For You, a co-write with Phil Thornalley, channels George Harrison and an understated latter period Beatles vibe and is another beautiful song.

Modesty Forbids is full of exquisite songwriting and performances, and whilst very different to the lush work of 10cc, is every bit as enjoyable listening.

Category: CD Reviews

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