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Chad Valley – Young Hunger

Hugo from Jonquil seems to be taking off rather well in his Chad Valley guise (and with rather a lot of collabs here to help). If Jonquil exhibit smooth pop rock smarts Chad Valley are the purest pop outlet. “I Owe You This” reminds a bit of George Michael on a yearning, sparkling synth ballad, bolted to a floor filling disco trifle. It’s given the soul sheen by guest Twin Shadow – the first of many. “Tell All Your Friends” has a large spoon of Tears For Fears (as does a lot of the album) if they’d had a large spoon of prozac and this is not the only artist I’ve heard recently nodding towards them. Too sophisticated for the youth club disco but with a naivety that enchants, this could be too damn poppy but the construction is JUST clever enough. And it’s the clever and meticulous backing that pushes this album above the average.

“Fall 4 U” is a bit too soppy for me though I prefer the honest gushing here to the “ooh, sensitive” sound of the recently seen Stubborn Heart to, unfairly, single out one act. Perhaps it’s wet but this Walter The Softy of a track is none-the-less imbued with an infectious joyousness.

Some of this set is a bit too flimsy to rave over, I’m more a fan of the Eno like “Interlude” but there is a lot to commend it – “Up And Down” is pitch perfect pop with a rhythmic spine that suggest a huge remix would be on the cards. The title track is White Soul sublime, with a beat like The Pointer Sisters’ ‘Automatic’ and really needs to wait for early summer to become indispensable – it is, it must be said, lush. And that’s my album review really. Fuckin’ lush.

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