Raresong Recordings (label)
24 March 2017 (released)
24 March 2017
Fairground Attraction are one of those acts that are best remembered for one song and a distinctive vocalist. However, having written the band's two albums, Mark Nevin's musical pedigree has never been in question. While his name may not roll off as many people's tongues as former bandmate Eddi Reader's, he has actually consistently delivered solid solo recordings since the band's demise. My Unfashionable Opinion is his fifth. Will this be the recording that makes his name as recognisable as his former band's, or will he remain something of a niche icon?
As anyone who has explored Fairground Attraction's two studio albums will be aware, Perfect was something of an anomaly when it comes to Nevin's compositional style, but those who have followed his solo outings to date will be aware his newer work explores a broader spectrum and a wider range of tempos than his earlier outings. My Unfashionable Opinion is no exception.
Recorded over 4 nights in North London, Nevin teamed with his Fairground Attraction bandmate Simon Edwards for production duties and provided the majority of instrumentation as well as all vocals. However he is joined by Roger Beaujolais on vibraphone and marimba, Simon Edwards on bass and Richard Marcangelo on drums for the majority of the record.
The album itself finds its strength in its lyrical content. Shining brightest is the compelling Curly Wurly Boy, which harks back to his wise refusal to listen to a discouraging careers advisor, who felt Cadbury would suit him more than his musical ambition. With his unique vocal enhanced by the reflective playfulness in his tone, this is a Nevin's classic. Equally notable is the ingenious Punching Above My Weight.
While the album as whole is impressive, there are a few forgettable moments, most ironically Forgotify. While a cleverly thought out song about those gems that never get played on Spotify, something in it's delivery misses the mark and you can't help but feel that even on a platform like the one described it would be overlooked.
Overall the album is a shower not a grower. As with Fairground Attraction's body of work, Nevin's outings are never for the instant rewards but rather expect the listener to allow the record to grow with them. Importantly though, this is a record worthy of the time and effort it takes to fall in love with it.