The new, and third, Wisely record is his first available on vinyl and is a treasure trove of wonderfully recorded laid back pop or blue eyed soul. It arrived here in perfect time for the summer and would be suitable for a long hazy summer evening on a recliner with a beer in hand. The only problem is that you'd have to get up after twenty minutes to flip sides. And again after another twenty minutes to start playing it again.
'On my way' starts off with a heartfelt lyric sung over a most appealing wurlitzer. Its a slower track. 'Cracked world view' is another slower paeon to breaking up and features the mellotron. The whole record displays this attachment to warm and inviting vintage sounds.
Things really kick off on third track, 'Tokyo Arbor'. Its got a completely addictive vibe, this one, mining the same seventies territory so beloved of current artists such as Josh Rouse. ' 'Only losing me' is less poppy and more bluesy and is sung in that honest, expressive way.
Side one almost ends with the glorious upbeat and, well, bouncy pop you might expect of a song called 'California'. Covering the same kind of territory as 'Tokyo Arbor' its the second highlight on this album. But before we get to the label we have the Nick Drake -esque simple folk and guitar plucking of 'Through any window'. Enjoyable and very well recorded.
'Ella' is really lovely, a song about the joys of love, not the breakup. It continues with that mellow upbeat vibe and has some gorgeous percussion, pedal and steel guitar. Third song on the album that is so infectious. You'll be tapping your foot, nodding your head and clapping your hands! You might even be singing along!!
'Nothing but wind' is something more experimental, a spoken word monologue about the speaker's wishes, desires from life. Its slightly haunting and nicely complimented by piano and glockenspiel.
'Vanilla' is about a girl called, err 'Vanilla'. Unless he's just broken up with an ice cream. Its slightly soppy. Possibly melting in the sunshine. Actually, I've just realised that's part of the lyric! Shockingly he mentioned the dreaded 'CD'. I still can't keep my foot still.
The next song, is to these ears, the worst on the album. Its a soft rock track and Wisely insists on repeating to us the fact that he's going to make love tonight and how beautiful its going to be. I find this rather irritating. There are redeeming features in the music but I'm finding it really hard to get past the simple lyric. He also says 'Yowl!'. Its called 'Its gonna be beautiful'.
Lightly strummed on a guitar with beach boys harmonies is 'Unfamiliar'. More lush instrumentation does kick in later in the track.
Perfectly titled 'I'll be singing' ends the album in a joyful and jazzy fashion, even including treated vocals. You might just join in.
Its a real feelgood album. The playing is excellent throughout and while Wisely is no opera singer, his light tenor voice is most appealing and perfectly suits that lazy summer mood. While the record could drop a couple of tracks(I'll let you guess one) the rest deserve to be all over daytime radio, not to mention your car stereo. Not to mention your turntable!! 😉 The excellent overall sound of the album elevates it above most of today's music and deserves a high recommendation.
Its a 180g rti pressed album. Attractive outer sleeve with good protective inner sleeve but no pictures. Lyrics and details are printed on the back.