Tim Burgess: Oh No I Love You

It shouldn’t really be such a surprise, a collaboration between The Charlatans frontman and Lambchop main man Kurt Wagner, especially given Tim Burgess’ love of country music, however this album seems to have caught a lot of people on the hop, me included, but what better way to be blindsided than by beauty. Though billed as a solo effort, the lyrics are Wagner’s with the Nashvillian having crafted words around tunes by Burgess, resulting in very fine Americana by way of the north of England.

Single and album opener White is brass-laden funk-soul pop , and is immediately the best thing I have heard from either man in ages. The spritely country jaunt of The Doors Of Then follows with its Jim Morrison referencing lyrical in-joke also providing the title to this break-up album. Both Wagner and Burgess have previously confounded with oblique lyrics (granted Burgess less so and Wagner is clearly the master wordsmith) and their musical common ground is so rich, that on these shoe swapping toe tappers they are a perfect fit.

Likewise when the heart break via record collection continues with A Case For Vinyl, where Burgess’ voice cracks tenderly, echoing record hiss over a gentle guitar strum. While The Hours gets its croon on in vintage form, it still wears Séan O’Hagan’s luxurious string arrangement lightly, with a deference evident on every performance here. The Great Outdoors Bitches typifies this sympathetic musical lightness of touch and is a particular highlight. On closing number A Gainwith perfect restraint the gospel choir refrain is saved for the outro, in a softly sung bittersweet soulful release.

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