Album: Jim Noir, Jim Noir (My Dad)

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The Independent Culture

Jim Noir's dazzling 2006 album Tower of Love was basically just an aggregation of earlier EPs, so this is the Mancunian genius's debut proper. And what a debut, stuffed with whimsical beauty and gorgeous layered harmonies that Brian Wilson would kill for, each instrument and vocal painstakingly overdubbed by Noir.

Solo albums don't get any more solo, or more enticing. Noir seems to possess the childlike wonder of a Syd Barrett or, indeed, a Brian Wilson, evoking the plight of a modern Major Tom in "Welcome Commander Jameson", expressing joy at the prospect of meeting his beloved in "Happy Day Today", and recognising the charm of the British seaside in "Same Place Holiday". Musically, he shares the eclectic-psychedelic approach of his chums Super Furry Animals, but it's his vocal arrangements that beguile. An extraordinary achievement.

Download this: 'All Right', 'Happy Day Today', 'What U Gonna Do', 'On a Different Shelf'