Title: Spirits of Agnew
Catalogue Number: Lil'Buddy Records
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2005
You might well be unfamiliar with Khalid Hanifi but lovers of well constructed songs that feature - what's it called again? - melody may remember him from the band Map of the World (they released a mini album on Atlantic in 1989). "Spirits of Agnew" was actually recorded in the year 2000 but did not actually get released until 2005.
The songs are the work of a craftsman. "Black Eyed Susan" is an immaculately constructed song that is far more complex than the more lauded songsmiths polluting the charts (ha!) today. "Stuck in First" has mid life crisis sentiments stamped all over it in abundance as our Mr Hanifi announces "Maybe it's the prozac… should I increase my dose?" Perhaps it is the slickness of the performance that brings seminal British popsters Squeeze into our mind as "Purple and Blue" entrances us. It is also perhaps just a feeling but these songs had an odd effect on the Bluesbunny. Well constructed, melodic songs like the ones that make up this album are timeless but there was something rather old fashioned about it all. Having said that, these songs themselves remind the Bluesbunny strongly of many of the finer examples of more recent music. A somewhat contradictory statement but sometimes it is difficult to put a feeling into words.
The Maypops are certainly more of a subliminal influence on other artist's work than actually being in receipt of the recognition that they deserve. As we said before, Bluesbunny hears echoes of their style all the way across the Atlantic even today. Check out the music of Glasgow band The Eisenhowers, for example. Whilst it is a touch over polished, it has to be said that "Spirits of Agnew" is an album that will add class to your record collection.
Available from CD Baby.
May 27, 2008
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