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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Zutons - You Can Do Anything

THE ZUTONS
You Can Do Anything


The Zutons are perhaps best known for the fact that Amy Winehouse once sang one of their tunes. But while Mark Ronson and Winehouse’s cover of Valerie may have caused it to spend 100 weeks in the Top 100 Radio Airplay Charts, the five-piece is in no way a one-hit-wonder by association. Indeed, with two quality albums already under their belts, the Brits now prove their longevity with a third effort.

While there is no wheel reinvention here, You Can Do Anything sees The Zutons doing what they do best, which is belt out catchy pop befitting a band that hails from the same city as The Beatles. Other English influences shine through too, like the T Rex-style glam rock of Always Right Behind You. Frontman Dave McCabe’s vocal is deliciously strained as always and his wordplay is witty and observant. What’s Your Problem is oddly joyful considering that impending violence is at the heart of its subject-matter, but then The Zutons have always enjoyed pairing dark, sinister lyrics with unabashed pop. For instance, Family Of Leeches and Bumbag both deal with social disharmony and Freak is the depressing tale of a male prostitute, yet all these stories are enveloped in massive choruses, big hooks and Abi Cornish’s perky (if basic) saxophone accompaniment. It’s an interesting juxtaposition.

With its sheer vivacity, You Can Do Anything is comfortably an equal to The Zutons’ previous two albums. The misery of modern Britain never sounded so fun and, happily, it seems there is life after Valerie for these chirpy Liverpudlians.

1 comment:

Rhys said...

I think the Zutons are great also, right on!

Love the use of the phrase "chirpy Liverpudlians" as well!

"Hello you little chirpy scousers, of course you can mind my car for a fiver (rubs hair of chirpy scouser scamp), and you can have my trainers. You chirpy little monkey!"

I've met Dave McCabe and he's anything but "chirpy"! Good guy, but definitely not a chirpy chappy.