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Boomkat Product Review:
Former frontman of Denver band The Czars, John Grant returns to music with the assistance of Midlake, who make for a pretty exceptional backing band on this debut solo long-player, providing a '70s-style soft-rock backdrop for Grant's accomplished, classically melodic songcraft. Although there's an elegant torch song feel to much of the album, Grant also pulls off great uptempo numbers like 'Silver Platter Club', which distinguishes itself thanks to a great, knockabout Beatles-y sound. However, when Grant gets wistful he does so in fairly extravagant fashion. In 'Sigourney Weaver' he outlines his fragile emotional state via a convoluted simile involving that bit in Aliens where Ripley discovers that Burke is trying to get Alien specimens back to the earth for research purposes. And that's the chorus. Grant occasionally brings to mind the wit and more acerbic, theatrical tendencies of a songwriter like Rufus Wainwright although does tend to dip into an excessively direct, confessional style, dropping cartoonishly self-conscious and self-deprecating passages like: "I wanted to change the world/But I could not even change my underwear/And when the shit got really, really out of hand/I'd had it all the way up to my hairline/Which keeps receding like my self-confidence/As if I ever had any of that stuff anyway" all set to a memorable, quasi-epic musical accompaniment.