Album Reviews

Jim Noir – Tower Of Love

(My Dad) UK release date: 5 December 2005

Jim Noir - Tower Of Love I normally dismiss male solo artists out of hand as inevitably introspective nonsense. Worryingly, Jim Noir is as solo as it gets – he plays every damn instrument on this album a la J Mascis – but what he’s come up with on Tower Of Love, his debut album, is just utterly divine. So there goes my theory.

Hailing from Manchester, a city most recently associated with hedonism and new-lad posturing, Noir’s music is instead delicate, childlike and luscious. Having said that, despite the computerised warbles, rich Brian Wilson-inspired soundscapes and Sgt. Pepper harmonies, you could still pinpoint the lad’s origins; for a start, the breathy Manc accent is a constant charming feature, whilst the lyrics suggest a firmly northern upbringing.

This latter point is best illustrated by the two singles already released on earlier EPs, from which this album is largely compiled. First up is My Patch, which is a shoe-in for my single of the year. In contrast to the rest of the album, which is brimming with understated delicacy, My Patch skips along to a quirky, arresting beat that would make a statue smile. “If you ever step on my patch, I’ll bring you down” is Jim’s distinctly northern playground taunt, before dissolving into ethereal Beach Boys swirls of sound, only for a final refrain to remind us how damn good it all is.

Eenie Meanie contains more threats to the unwary: “If you don’t give my football back, I’m gonna get my dad on you” – and rightly so. Musically, its psychedelic rock style could be carbon-dated to September 1966, a good thing if done well as Bees fans can testify, and boy is it done well here.

Jim’s favourite chord is C, so much so he wrote a song about it: In The Key Of C, presumably written in the key of C. “I want to be in the key of C, it’s easier to play it” he goes, another example of the endearing everyday humanity of his work. So effective is his common touch that moments of true sorrow such as the mournful lost-love lament of Quiet Man are rendered all the more poignant.

Elsewhere you’ve got more beautiful, uplifting, sweet music than you could ever require. None better perhaps than Computer Song – Noir’s ode to his trusty laptop that clearly plays such a key part in his art. But it’s not all complimentary:”Every time I try to make a silly little song, my efforts are all wasted ’cause machinery goes wrong.” What treats have been lost forever thanks to Jim’s lost sectors? The mind boggles.

Thankfully Computer Song and the rest of Tower Of Love survived, and the world is certainly a far better place for it.

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More on Jim Noir
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Jim Noir – Tower Of Love