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Marshmallow | s/t (Lo-Max)
Essentially a solo record from one time Mutton Bird Alan Gregg, Marshmallow predictably deliver music for those with a sweet tooth. Opener Anytime Soon takes Teenage Fanclub's Start Again as a template and rounds off any edges, while Come Sunday adds some sheen to a Lucksmiths-esque ode to domestic chores. So far, so pretty and it's a formula Gregg is happy to employ throughout. But whilst it's hard to fault the musicianship, production or pitch-perfect deliveries (guests include Ron Sexsmith and Bic Runga), 'Marshmallow' does not fare so well when its lyrics are put under any degree of scrutiny. This is rarely an obstacle among power-pop addicts, for whom cheesy, throwaway lyrics come with the territory, but couplets like "See her once and you won't forget her/Riding a light blue lambretta" (Scooter Girl) or "you led me up the garden path...I cried enough tears to fill the bath" (Over & Done) won't cut it outside of Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Shrug off such shortcoming and Gregg's likeable voice and effortless command of the cute and kitsch make for an idyllic listen, the loungey do The Decent Thing and the Byrdsian closer Later On both commensurate with the best the genre can offer.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #13 - Autumn 2003

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