Like the Scissor Sisters, Orson are an American band that required the recognition of a British audience to succeed. With its catchy hook and self-deprecating invitation to "look at me, silly me", their "No Tomorrow" was one of the more appealing recent chart-toppers, and this self-financed debut offers a frothy, energetic confirmation of that promise. There's a panache to their muscular power-pop that most UK bands struggle to match, and their arrangements are underpinned by what appears to be a keen knowledge of rock history - so that, for instance, "Save the World" sounds a bit like Sting fronting 10cc; "Bright Eyes" emulates the swooning slide-guitar figure from Dark Side of the Moon; and "Happiness" slips from a sleek, Marvin Gaye-esque intro into a classic Stones-y raunch-rock riff. But the effect is achieved without compromising Orson's identity. More importantly, they sound like an effortless hit machine, leading off this debut with a fistful of obvious singles - "Bright Idea" itself, "No Tomorrow", "Happiness" and "Already Over" - that should ensure that they end 2006 as one of the year's hottest new acts.
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