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Boomkat Product Review:
On his latest LP - his first full band effort since Arab Strap's demise - Aidan Moffat is in severe danger of sounding cheery. As weary and worn down as his voice is, he's buoyed on by a backing band that brings all the most playful qualities of his writing to the forefront. The music bolsters the more upbeat lyricism of tracks like 'Big Blonde' and 'That's Just Love', whilst also lending a sympathetic temperament to 'Atheist's Lament', which is a truly lovely thing, a touching ballad sung by an unbeliever, craving the faith he can never have as a cushion against the hardships of loss and bereavement. Immediately after this, there's a bit of a sublime-to-ridiculous transition: 'Oh Men!' is entirely absurd, an excessively jaunty outing about the innate lecherousness of all men. He becomes a comedic parody of his dirty old man persona, doling out ludicrous material like: "Be they housewife, be they hussy/Be they scholar, be they halfwit - face it, boys, we're just not fussy!" The exclamation marks don't exactly help in suppressing the bawdiness, do they? The next song gets even more far out, sounding like Benny Hill re-writing Andrew Marvell's 'To His Coy Mistress': "So please just ignore all the moods and the maybes/Lift up your skirt and I'll fill you with babies" ('A Scenic Route To The Isle Of Ewe'). Madness. And so the album proceeds with this interchange between frivolous analyses of male-female relationships and more sober, poetic outings such as the 'Lullaby For Unborn Child', Moffat's song to an infant in the womb, preparing the child for life on the outside, revealing a more sentimental side to a writer whose preoccupations have tended towards grimier, more corporeal concerns. Recommended.