Jim Noir is a fine addition to the hallowed ranks of British psychedelic oddballs. The multi-layered solo recordings collected here bring to mind all manner of outlandish predecessors, from McCartney and Syd-era Pink Floyd to the more recent likes of The Beta Band and Super Furry Animals. Culled from a trio of limited-edition EPs released over the course of the past year, the album depicts a prodigal talent whose sophisticated grasp of arrangement is balanced by the whimsical, sometimes naive, nature of his songs. Questions of territoriality and semantics dominate his thoughts: in "Eanie Meany" he threatens parental retribution if he doesn't get his ball back, though he's quick to defend his own territory in "My Patch"; while songs such as "The Only Way", "A Quiet Man" and "I Me You I'm Your" find him grappling with the inadequacy of language: "I'm confused/ I've got words I'd like to use/ But they've all been said before/ So I'm going to use them all". The most immediately notable aspect of Noir's songs on Tower of Love, though, are the meticulously overdubbed close harmonies, which betray a youth at least partly (mis)spent analysing Brian Wilson arrangements.
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