Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CD of the Day, 5/27/09: Tony Cox-Unpublished

If you've been asking yourself "Where can I find some classic 60s-styled British pop that has a timeless quality to it?", then Tony Cox has the answer. Unpublished is his debut album, and thankfully for us he actually did publish it. There is one twist here: although Cox wrote all the tracks and plays guitar and keyboards, the lead vocalist is Nigel Clark, not Cox. If that name sounds familiar, Clark is the onetime frontman of Dodgy, and released a quality solo disc in 2006 titled 21st Century Man.

"Sweet Elaine" and "Feel Real Love" open the disc in grand fashion, incorporating Northern Soul (dig those horns) and a Motown bassline, together with sunshine melodies. If you dug last year's Rinaldi Sings disc, stop reading this review and immediately go to the link below and order this one. "Jamelia" adds an insistent guitar hook to the mix while "Fallen" lays on the jangle. The midtempo "Chills" recalls Merseysiders like Peter & Gordon and Herman's Hermits, while "Say the Word" continues the 60s tour with some Beach Boys influence. The only question I have is how did "Life is Hardcore" end up on this disc? With its heavy synths it's about 20 years figuratively removed from the rest of the album. That minor quibble aside, Tony Cox has the Carnaby Street Album of 2009 on his hands. He may be retro, but he has the tunes.

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