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Babybird - Between My Ears There's Nothing But Music

Babybird, Between My Ears There's Nothing But Music

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

IT’S BEEN six years since we heard from Babybird, the Stephen Jones-led outfit responsible for the smash hit You’re Gorgeous.

During that time, Jones has been pursuing solo work and writing soundtracks but he has now decided the time is right to dive deep into the world of Babybird once again. The result is every bit as eclectic as the band’s earlier work, making it difficult to categorise the album too easily.

Certainly, from its name alone, the long-player is designed as a celebration of Jones’ lifelong passion (music) and in many of the skyscraping choruses and feel-good melodies, it’s clear that the band is having fun.

Tracks like Lighter ‘N’ Spoon emerge successfully as joyful celebrations of love and life, albeit with the same quirky observations that made You’re Gorgeous such a beautiful paradox.

Couched in supremely infectious beats and flute-laden melodies that hint at psychedelia, the track finds Jones “lying half-dead on the sofa” proclaiming, “you’re the only thing I know, you’re the place I want to be, lock me up inside your soul and throw away the key”, while simultaneously announcing: “I’d like to pull my eyes out with a tweezers.” As an anti-drugs statement it’s quite startling and courageous.

Conversely, 70 is a skyscraping rock-pop anthem about a life-long love that boasts such celebratory lyrics as “70 years together, go on for ever and ever, 70 years today comes as no surprise” and “though my eyesight’s going and my heart is slowing, now my bones are showing it’s still a wonderful morning”. It’s difficult not to become swept up in its towering chorus and upbeat focus.

Jones slows things down a little for the melancholy lament that is Divorce Song, a telling observation on a not-so successful relationship that serves as a nice contrast to the upbeat vibe of 70, before later picking up the pace on the chiming Better Than Love, another feel-good romp that revels in its own sense of happiness.

Whether any songs on Between My Ears There’s Nothing But Music can help Babybird to rediscover the phenomenal mainstream success of You’re Gorgeous remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure – listeners should have an enjoyable time finding out.

It’s a frequently enchanting listen that is, at different points, surreal, celebratory, poignant and pop-friendly. For Jones, it marks an impressive return.

Track listing:

  1. Too Much
  2. Dive
  3. Snails
  4. Old Skin
  5. Little Things
  6. 70
  7. Lighter ‘N’ Spoon
  8. Divorce Song
  9. Shoutabout
  10. Better Than Love
  11. Beautiful Place