26 May 2014 (released)
07 April 2014
When Robbie Boyd gets it right his music is like a Wes Andersen Film where he paints picture-perfect images with his quirky personality and charming lyrics. The new album “So Called Man”, however, will divide opinion with its combination of tracks from previous EPs and new material. Listen once, twice, ten times to this album and you will not always be sure where he is quite going with it.
The first two tracks “Orion’s Belt” and “I won’t Let You Go” have sunshine written all over them. Picture summer fields, running through make believe corn and travelling around in a camper van with your mates during the holidays. With all the feel good vibes of the first half of the album, he probably should have been paid to do a soundtrack for all those summer holiday adverts in January. “I Won’t Let You Go” comes from one of Robbie's early EP’s so it’s not surprising that it made the final cut. This track live is always a crowd pleaser - he recently supported Brother and Bones at Scala and the crowd were buzzing!
Unfortunately, the second half of the album becomes a little confusing. The vocals don’t really sound like him and it goes from an upbeat album with a definite personality to a random experimental project. "Amsterdam" is reminiscent of Chris Martin's "Yellow" from Parachutes and the latter tracks have a similar vocal resonance to them. “I want You To Stay” may make you think you've arrived in the West End for a musical - best to avoid this track and skip back to the start. I can see that he is trying to evolve his sound but this would have been better on a second album if he was planning on doing something completely different. If you weren’t a fan previously, you may be left a little bamboozled.
Put aside that some of this album will leave you puzzled and go to see Robbie Boyd live at The Garage in London on Wednesday 28th May - he does play a good show. Watch the video for the new single “Less Than Friends” below.