Album: Bob Geldof, How to Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell (Mercury)
Friday 04 February 2011
The pre-emptive irony of the title – composing hit songs being the very least of Bob Geldof's considerable talents – hints at the devil-may-care attitude with which he now regards his music.
He doesn't care whether you want it or not, he's going to do it anyway. And How to Compose... confirms that he undoubtedly still loves music. The problem is, it's usually somebody else's music, be it Tom Waits's abrasive boogie-blues ("Blow Fish"), Neil Young's weedy acoustic croon ("Mary Says"), chummy Beatles bonhomie ("Here's to You") or the wannabe Stones B-side that is "Dazzled by You". Rather than inspired songwriting, it's a parade of pastiches, reaching an absurd nadir on the accordion chanson "To Live in Love", which finds Sir Bob lilting like a Left Bank busker. Still, it's nice that he has a hobby.
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