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CAPTAIN This Is Hazelville EMI (2006)


And God made man in his image. And so it came to pass that Tricky Trev created Captain - the latest in a long line of Trevor Horn protégés.

Trev's reputation may have faded since his wonderful ABC / ZTT days (his outing with Belle and Sebastian was less than inspiring, but maybe even Trev‘s sparkle-dust has it‘s limitations). But here he proves that there's still plenty of magic left in those knob twiddling fingers.

This Is Hazelville is a sumptuous piece of summer pop - eleven beautifully packaged and produced numbers. A trip back to those heady days of ABC, Prefab Sprout, The Kane Gang, and The Buggles - influences that shine through on every track. The nearest contemporaries would probably be The Scissor Sisters. This is pop, but it's not disposable, there's a sustainable element.

All the past trademarks are on display - boy-girl harmonies, layer upon layer of additional vocal parts, and ABC strings. Pick a track, any track and you're likely to be impressed. But quite how good Captain are is difficult to judge. Bands that Trev has steered to greatness seems to crash on the rocks once the captain has left the bridge.

If there's a criticism, it's that it feels like a continuous assault - every track is packed with everything but the kitchen sink. But if you want an album to play back 2 back with The Scissor Sisters latest offering, this is it. Worth exploring.


Review by Pete Whalley

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© 2006 EMI. All rights reserved.

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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