The debut album "Biggest Bluest Hi Fi" by the Scottish indie band Camera Obscura, produced in 2001 by Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian, was honoured by the legendary radio DJ John Peel. Their music is the kind of intelligent British pop whose irony is not automatically understood beyond the big island. US producer Tucker Marine (R.E.M.) gives them on their fifth studio album a certain tender melancholy amidst airy arrangements. "New Year Resolution" with its shimmering synth strings even reminds of Roxy Music at the time of "Flesh And Blood". A short string intro glides gently over into the love song "This Is Love (Feels Alright)" with its brittle charm. But wait - why does Trayanne Campbell sing: "When I found your girlfriend crying, I could have slapped you in the face"? As harmless as the melodic loose-airy pop is, in reality it is not. Rather, the naive charm of the performance ironically breaks the sometimes quite spiteful lyrics. If you hear the songs full of swinging guitars, dreamlike harmonies and flute-like girlie incantations only in the background, you won't notice it at all. Nice, too.
Top Track: Desire Lines