Comes with a Smile # webexclusives
issues | the songs | interviews | reviews | images | web exclusives | top 10 | history | search

April 2006 / October 2005 / February-April 2005 / November-December 2004 / July 2004 / March-April 2004 / November-December 2003 / June-July 2003 / March-April 2003 / January-February 2003 / December 2002 / November 2002 / August 2002 / May-June 2002 / November 2001 / October 2001 / June-July 2001 / all web exclusives / search

Hitchcock's Regret | Regretfulness (Laughing Outlaw)
This lot are from Australia, so the Crowded House influence is strong, but there's also a bit of Coldplay knocking around. The most noticeable, and maybe off-putting, association here though is the singer sounding uncannily like Sting. Now I don't mind the odd track by the man who's never described as modest, and I was quite a Police fan in their early days, but there's no denying this soundalike factor, and it's very real effect on one's enjoyment. The songs have a melodic and a convincing contemporary Brit-sophistication that's unusual, especially on releases from this record label. There's even a bit of Radiohead, especially in the inventive and varied Regretfulness pt.1, and these adjectives apply pretty well to the disc as a whole. Quality control levels are high here - nothing leaps out and grabs one in the throat region, granted, but there's a lot going on and much to enjoy and allow to grow on you. (Actually, as I'm sitting listening to this, Regretfulness pt. 2 (a haunting conversation) is a truly lovely thing, an undoubted standout, one of only two tracks here with the word 'regretfulness' in the title, and enough of a throat-grabber to almost make that last sentence there a stinking lie, almost.) It's all growing on me. Try it, you won't regret it.

Jeff Cotton
November 2002