Jim Noir - Tower of Love
Review by Jack Foley
SAVVY-eared music listeners will recognise the name Jim Noir from several of the brilliant EPs he has been putting out since late 2004.
Titles have included Eanie Meany, My Patch and A Quiet Man which have each been showcased by specialist shows such as Claire Sturgess’ Xposure, or Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 Tape Mix.
They have acquired quite some popularity and are regularly to be found on Ebay – hitherto the only place the late catchers up have been able to acquire them.
Having amassed something of a cult following, My Dad Recordings have decided to release an album comprising all of the EPs and more that has to rate as a late contender for one of the alternative albums of the year.
Dazed And Confused hailed Jim Noir as ‘the Mancunian Brian Wilson’, while NME described his music as ‘luscious but simple’ adding that ‘it’s sure to bring a smile to your face’.
Both descriptions are particularly apt. Some of the melodies belong in Beach Boys territory, while the music has a dreamy, happy go lucky quality about it that makes it completely intoxicating. It’s difficult not to fall in love with.
Album opener, My Patch, is a fantastic intro, arriving on a bouncing piano chord and drifting into a breezy, Wilson-inspired retro joyride complete with vocal harmonies that belong in the Good Vibrations era.
The hooks are superb, the vocals oh-so laidback and some of the beats reminiscent of Beta Band.
The sun-kissed I Me You I’m Your – which became a favourite among the early evening Xfm crowd – is another gem and boasts probably the most catchy chorus on the album.
While Computer Song is another kooky classic – set against a bedding of melodic guitar riffs, tambourine claps and gentle beats.
Noir’s passion for diversifying instrumentally is evident on How To Be So Real, which features plenty of horns and flutes – as is his excellent vocal range given that his voice also provides many melodic shifts and tempos.
His quirky sense of humour is rife throughout the delightfully cheeky Eanie Meany which includes such choice lyrics as ‘if you don’t give my football back, I’m gonna get my dad on you, I only kicked it over the fence and broke a silly gnome or two’.
Once again, it’s set against a delicious beat that recalls the psychedelic style of The Bees and The Beatles.
There’s a French/Euro eccentricity surrounding Tower Of Love that marks it out as one of the most quirky and leftfield tracks on the album.
But the lush melodies are restored for In The Key Of C, a joyous mix of Lemon Jelly quirkiness and Beatles-era Yellow Submarine.
The list of hits go on culminating in the beautiful final track, The Only Way, which shows a more heartfelt side to Noir and signs off in memorable style.
If you haven’t yet had chance to indulge in Mr Noir then now is the perfect time – this is one of the happiest, most effortlessly enjoyable listens of the year.
We defy you not to love it.
1. My Patch
2. I Me You I’m Your
3. Computer Song
4. How To Be So Real
5. Eanie Meany
6. Tower Of Love
7. The Key Of C
8. Turbulent Weather
9. Turn Your Frown Into A Smile
10. A Quiet Man
11. Eanie Meany 2
12. The Only Way