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John MOuse - The Death of John MOuse

by DavidBeech
DavidBeech
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on 21 July 2014 in Albums & EPs
Record Label Crocfingers
Release date July 14th
Rating 8/10

“You know, you know who you look like, you look John Travolta. Nah don't be daft, man. He's a mix of the two blokes from Abba...” declares the second track from 'The Death of John MOuse', the fourth album from the Welsh 'quirk-pop' troubadour, John MOuse. And just like that, the charming triviality of the record reveals itself barely five minutes in. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, a remarkable feat considering MOuse's South Walian accent, the album plays out like soundtracked stream-of-conciousness; the instrumentation a rich, evolving canvas, whilst the lyricism, full of frivolity and with a propensity for referencing pop-culture, flits from spoken word to anti-folk to straightforward indie-pop, the latter of which unfamiliar listeners will find most accessible. Sensibly, it's with the indie-pop that MOuse kicks off proceedings, 'I Was A Goalkeeper' rattles towards its conclusion with all the youthful exuberance depicted in the lyrics depict whilst a verse from Gareth David (Los Campesinos!) is a very welcome inclusion. Other tracks, such as 'That's Just The Way I Love You' feel like they could have been taken from '69 Love Songs' by The Magnetic Fields, whilst 'Robbie Savage' feels like Casiotone for the Painfully Alone had they discovered humour. Oddly enough, it's the flippancy of 'The Death of John MOuse' that makes the record what it is. Often albums as eccentric as this fall victim to their own idiosyncrasies and feel haphazard or disjointed. Here, however, that isn't the case, John MOuse has created an album that's fresh and full of character, and at times, genuinely funny – a rare trait in singer/songwriters. It might not be the most accessible of albums, but it's certainly original, and in a time where derivatives are everywhere, it's a welcome inclusion to this Summer's album releases indeed.

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