You’d be forgiven for thinking summer’s arrived early after listening toDaniel Wylie. Ramshackle Beauty is one of those albums that makesyou want to head off down the park and lie in the sun, so infectious is thepositive vibe.
Everything about this record sounds natural – Wylie’s confident,effortless vocal delivery backed by a polished but not overproduced guitarsound majoring on the acoustic, with layered backing vocals nicely done byhis accomplices. Musically it’s not much of a step forward for the singer / songwriter from his Cosmic Rough Riders days, but with plenty of good songs up his sleeve it doesn’t really need to be.
Ramshackle Beauty kicks off with a strong trio of melodic pop/rock – thesingle Make Love To The World establishes the upbeat mood and Maybe I’veChanged boasts a strong, sing along chorus. Unwind will surely be the nextsingle, the irresistible chorus lyric “I’ve made up my mind, I’m taking iteasy and I’m gonna unwind”. Sounds like a plan!
Wylie is by and large an easy going sort of chap and this comes throughin his vocal style – the “hey stormy weather” refrain of Consoling TheGirl, or even the line from The Daily Grind which sees him “clocking in atten, my life is running on late again”.
Brighton Beach offers a glimpse into a warmer, romantic side, with Wylie’s vocal fragile and wistful, the absence of drums a nice touch. Meanwhile, Michael The Butterfly “oozes charm when he smiles”, rather like Wylie’s singing voice. Sometimes the melodies are a little awkward, particularly in the verses – Going Nowhere Again being a good example – but this is where Wylie can bring a vulnerable charm to the vocal.
Ramshackle Beauty is a qualified success then, the sort of album to diveinto after a hard day at work or to throw open the windows to on a sunnyday. It’s good to have Daniel Wylie back, and even better to know he hasn’t lost any of his songwriting craft.