Norman Kelsey - On The Rebound

Release date: 2nd October 2012

We were lucky enough to catch Norman Kelsey live at Liverpool’s IPO Festival, when he played with just an acoustic guitar. He was certainly different from the Power Pop you expect at this fixture in our calendar, but he did a great job in keeping the crowd’s attention with the songs he played.

The first song on this new album,” So Sophisticated”, opens with a Robert Cray style bluesy riff played by the producer, Adam Marsland, before the horns take you on a funk trip. The title “So Sophisticated” sets the tone for the album, because that’s just what the album is. A sophisticated and well-structured slice of soul, funk and lush vocals throughout.

The title track tips the hat to an obvious appreciation of Prince, which is evident elsewhere on the album.  This is no bad thing, especially since Norman has a really warm and soulful falsetto that’s difficult to tire of.

“Our Love Is Known By Name” opens with a stunning Bee Gees at their best type harmony…and then gets better! Having Evie Sands helping out on vocals guarantees greatness of course.

There’s a lot going on lyrically too, none more so than in “Supermodels With Gatling Guns,” which manages name-check R2D2 and Stella McCartney!

“Airport Kisses” is a real heartbreaker that captures perfectly the sadness of someone who travels from home a lot and misses the love that's been left behind.

Throughout this album great credit has to go to Adam Marsland for his outstanding production work and musical contributions. He’s done an amazing job, and he should be very proud of the result. 

The bottom line though, is that Norman Kelsey’s great songs can stand strong with just his voice and that little acoustic guitar, as witnessed in Liverpool earlier this year.

This is an outstanding album from a truly sophisticated vocalist.

The Popdogs "Cool Cats For Pop Dogs"

Our Verdict: A Fine Pedigree

Do you remember when “Pop”… as in “Popular Music” meant something you and friends could actually enjoy openly?
This would be way before Simon Cowell destroyed the meaning of the words.  Well prepare to have your faith restored in this particular genre.  Because the debut album from The Popdogs, “Cool Cats For Pop Dogs” will do just that.
Clocking in at not much more than 30 minutes, the ten songs on the album will be the soundtrack to the quickest 30 minutes of your life!
From the power pop opening of KELLY’S ON till the harmony laden closer DANCIN ‘ AGAIN, via an almost surf  guitar instrumental in MILD MANNERED J, we are treated to reminders of just exactly what pop songs are meant to be… two and a half minutes of aural ecstasy.
Of course singer/songwriter James Styring is no stranger to great songs as anyone who had the good fortune to see or hear his last band, Postcards From Places That Don’t Exist can testify. His teaming up with guitarist Tim McKeating though, has added a definite radio friendliness to the instantly recognisable vocals provided by James.
Jangly guitars, great hooks and choruses, plus the added benefit of a unique and distinctive vocalist. What more can you look for in a classic POP album? Ten sparkling gems, highly recommended for anyone looking to have that faith in POPULAR MUSIC restored.