Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Alan Pownall - True Love Stories

Alan Pownall's True Love Stories is an enjoyable and detailed sequence of songs that starts out sounding a bit like The Mike Flowers Pops but soon reveals hidden depths with strains of Bowie and more than a little resemblance to a cheerier version of Pownall's one-time neighbours Mumford and Sons.

If you like to wallow in angst or unrequited emotion, True Love Stories probably isn't the best idea for you. Those themes are among the topics covered, but the pace and Pownall's optimistic-sounding delivery mean that this is something of a feel-good album nonetheless.

High Points

Putting aside the fact that Pownall sounds a bit like it should be spelt with a zero and refer to first-person shooter dominance, there are plenty of more genuine reasons to like True Love Stories. Alan Pownall's vocal sound has a kind of timeless quality to it. The reason why some of these tracks sound a bit like the 60s, others like the 70s and others bang up to date, is simply that Pownall would have sounded right in any of those eras.

I always expect the longest song on an album to be the best, and Turn Me Down does a decent job of continuing that trend. It might not be a totally stand-out example, but that's testament to the other songs on True Love Stories. It is a perfect example, however, of how lyrics that might easily be fairly depressing are instead given life and personality, preventing the song itself from being something you'd want to turn off halfway through for the sake of your sanity.

The Verdict

Well, what can I say that I haven't already said twice? This one is something of a no-brainer - it's just good, and that's that. It's not giddyingly fantastic. You won't be likely to have it right at the top of your stack of most-played CDs a year from now - or even on your main iPod playlist. But hey, if one or two of the tracks came on randomly as you were on the bus or walking down the street, it might just be like a tap on the shoulder from an old friend.

True Love Stories - Alan Pownall My iTunes picks, for you one-trackers: Turn Me Down gets the value for money vote as the longest on the album. Life Worth Living is most likely to put a spring in your step the moment it begins. For the full album, visit iTunes and choose for yourself.

Final Score: 76%

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