David Ford has a voice like a timid Matt Bellamy. In other words, he could make Humpty Dumpty sound like a furious heartwrenching traumatic experience. It’s his colourful vocals that provide the most notable feature of this album.
The trouble with David Ford is that his big talent is writing energetic pop songs with crunchy electric guitars perfect for indie discos, and it’s this that got his previous band Easyworld a pretty obsessive following of fans. Debut album, This Is Where I Stand didn’t have a dull moment, and moved from strength to strength around the indie-pop genre. On the follow-up record Kill The Last Romantic, Dav (in those days his first name was abbreviated) had obviously reached a point of dissatisfaction with the Easyworld sound, and most of the record spun off in the direction of ballads and mature, sit-down-and-clap-politely tunes.
It’s no surprise then, that his debut record should sound like this – nine ballads and not a foot-tapping moment to be found. There’s a country feel to some of the tracks, but mainly it just sits somewhere between the piano pop ballads of Aqualung and the acoustic guitar melancholy of Damien Rice. The aching urgency of his vocals will be the icing on a pretty average cake to some, but will taste more like tomato ketchup to others (unless you like ketchup on your cake, in which case you’re just weird).
There are some highlights on this album: the lead single State Of The Union, is ace; What Would You Have Me Do? is beautiful until it’s messed up by a saxophone solo at the end, and Katie is a lovely little tune. Most of the songs though are just alright, and a lot of them are a little longer than they really need to be. But for the most part this just isn’t anything to write home about, and it’ll only make Easyworld fans pine for the good old days of Bleach and Try Not To Think.
In the olden days, Dav Ford used to introduce Demons (from the first Easyworld album) as the best song he had ever written. Unfortunately he doesn’t break that record with anything on this one, and really doesn’t come anywhere near close.
For an album written, performed and produced by one man though, it’s not a bad start at all, and compared to his new peers in the world of guitar/piano-playing singer-songwriters, he already ranks pretty highly. This is a beautiful album, really, but the world is already full of people that can do this well. The world doesn’t have quite so many Easyworlds though, but Dav has moved on and I guess it’s time that the Easyfans moved on too.