There is something familiar about Vincent. It is not because this is the 5th album from the Canadian, but more to do with the way his music crosses genres. This album goes from folk to punk to indie while hardly pausing for breath.
The voice is fragile, part Don McLean part Paul Simon, and as such it works best when the music is more restrained. Opener Hi Lo is the perfect vehicle for him, as is the hypnotic Going Out Tonight. Both these songs have a gentle rhythm and warm arrangements that don't swamp the subtle tone of his voice. Where this album struggles to work is when he strays into the twee indie mumbling of Fooled Again and the particularly mind numbing Nobody Else. Think Elliot Smith on anti depressants.
This album for me is two albums that never quite made it and ended up as one. Like he couldn't make up his mind what he wanted to do. Pity, as he really does excel on the bittersweet and mellower tracks. It is only when he tries to rock out that is fails miserably.
When he can write songs of the beauty of Sleep To Dream and the equally wonderful Bus Stop, it is hard to believe that he is capable of writing dross like Under Your Thumb. We are subjected to quite possibly some of the most cringe worthy lyrics of the year when he warbles 'you wanna fight, you wanna fuck and you wanna get high' and believe me, that is only the tip of the iceberg.
This had the possibility of being a worthy album (check out his cover of Kate Bush's Hounds Of Love), but Vincent strays to far from what he is good at. This mixed with the naive narrative he gives to his songs, means that this is, with the odd exception, a pretty forgettable record.