POP: CD REVIEWS - DISC OF THE WEEK

LIGHTNING SEEDS: TILT

(Epic)

It's not like me to take pleasure in the misfortunes of others, but Ian Broudie sounds as if he was pretty miserable during the making of Tilt and the upshot is his best album yet. Rather than insisting that "things could be marvellous," Broudie grouches about the fate of Liverpool's dockers ("Not a word in the morning papers/ The unions and prayers won't save us"), about self-loathing pop stars ("I've been caring less and less/ Since my overnight success") and about general disillusionment ("I expected fireworks/ I expected changes"). Terry Hall, Mike Pickering of M People and Stephen Jones of BabyBird contribute some poignant, heavyweight lyrics and, for his part, Broudie has served a rich, substantial meal instead of his usual bittersweet 'n' lo tablets. Until now, the Lightning Seeds have been a byword for pristine, crystalline pop. Here, Broudie scratches the music's frictionless surface with distortion, hard dance beats, faster, more active drumming - courtesy of Ringo Starr's son - and some of his strongest, most affecting melodies, as on "Sweet Soul Sensation" and "I Wish I Was In Love". By the end, even his famously insipid, matter-of- fact voice is cracking with emotion.

Comments