Boy On A Bicycle: Everything You Do Is A Miracle

~ Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Boy On A Bicycle is the solo vehicle for Northwich based songwriter and producer Ian Scanlan, a guy with an ear for whimsical pop songs and while Everything You Do Is A Miracle has some real moments of unbridled joy, at times it is let down by sterile production and an attempt to cover too many musical bases.

The album opens with
Just A Feeling, the bossa nova beat adds an instant air of summer and some lovely vocal harmonies from Sarah Ennor raise it well above the ordinary. This is a quality pop song in the mould of Prefab Sprout, as is Life Viewed From The Outside and proves that he does indeed have the ability to produce pop/folk of the highest quality. This is why it comes as such a disappointment when the unconvincing Tired and abismal Boy With Faraway Eyes come along. The former sounding like Ian Broadie at his worst while the latter with its feeble Ramones meets The Smiths approach is totally unconvincing and forgettable.

Just when you are about to give up along comes the title track and you find yourself asking if this could possibly be by the same person. The difference is night and day. It's atmospheric, beautifully structured and an extremely accomplished lush slice of pop. Wonderful. He strikes gold again on the lilting Painfully Happy. The restrained arrangement acting as the perfect foil for his spirited vocals.

Love and Regrets, Warmth Of The Sun and Wunderkind are pleasant enough, more filler than killer if you will, but Scanlan saves the best for last in the shape of the stirring and evocative Another Chance. This instrumental track exudes a beauty that touches on bands like the Blue Nile and Sigur Ros and proves the moments of true beauty on this album are no fluke. With the some noticeable exceptions this is descent showcase of Scanlan's talents as a songwriter. Perhaps another set of ears with him in the studio would have made all the difference. We'll never know.

[][][][ (3.5/5)