Shirley Lee: Winter Autumn Summer Spring

~ Tuesday, 20 September 2011
'The mist came down quite suddenly’ sings Shirley Lee on Beachy Head, track 9 of Winter Autumn Summer Spring. I kind of got that feeling after track 2. Sometimes artists find it difficult to know when to stop. Unless you’re Prince and even then at a push, punters don’t want to hear thirty songs that sound the same unless they’re considering root canal treatment without anaesthetic. Everyone needs a good editor or in this case, an A&R man or a producer to say less is more.

Positives? You could get a decent album by selecting 12 songs from the 30 available. The Haunted, Winter Light, Selfless and I Remember You were decent enough. There are some nice moments, at times the guitars and vocals sound natural and warm. The artwork and presentation of the LP are great. There’s obviously a clever songwriter in there but when clever sarcasm is the order of the day, the tune isn’t hooky enough and when the tunes are better, the lyrics just wash over you.

Another problem is the one dimensional vocal which seems to add to the overall air of self indulgence. It was hard to tell what season we were in. After a while the songs just kind of sounded the same apart from the weird drum loop on An Old cricketer (For John Peel). This stood out because it was different not because it was good. What we really needed were some great pop hooks and something that will grab us in.

Unfortunately the only feeling I had was that we were listening to rejected demos by The Lightening Seeds. The lesson here is less is more.

[][] (2/5)

Review by Charlie Brown