The only thing that this album and I have in common is that we were both born in 1994 meaning that we will be linked in time forever being the same age (at the moment of writing this is 22).
First off we need to address the elephant in the room, A Girl Like You. There is a reason why the song is so famous and that is because it is a masterpiece. A hefty weighted word to use indeed. So how about this? It is one of the greatest songs in the history of popular music. Why? Well if you have heard it then you already know. But if you have not then here are a few reasons:
- The iconic guitar riff.
- Xylophone intro and pre-chorus lick.
- Lyrically great case and point: ‘I’ve never known a girl like you before
Now just like in a song from days of yore’.
- Use of wah-wah, fuzz or as I call it squelch pedal effect.
Collins’ skill and class shown on A Girl Like You permeates through the whole record. Instantly being shown in the very next track Low Expectations. Quickly becoming a personal favourite of mine after hearing it because it is a phenomenal number. A singer-songwriter style that juxtaposes the presiding smash hit having finger picked acoustic guitar were he displays his technical ability, harmonica and organ all completed with Edwyn’s deeper singing and again lyrical nous.
The former Orange Juice front man shows his jazzy side with the fifth number If You Could Love Me. Simply strumming a jazz guitar part that would fit in any other jazz band that would be played or play in a cigar smoke filled bar in Chicago. With the bass backing up the feel alongside some great trumpeting.
Another shining moment lyrically is North of Heaven with the chorus being which I appreciate the uplifting subject matter. That of someone who is optimistic about the future and that bad things can be changed by you making action by building ‘A place just north of Heaven’.
Moving to the title number that the album is named after is on par for another great radio hit that will get in your head. You’ll be humming this one all week due to the the memorable melody’s of the vocals and keys. Mixing acoustic and electronic guitars the song shifts after the verses into a more distorted drive for the chorus. Taking a swing at people who think that they’re the business and how they should realise that they aren’t. What makes this song so good is the backing vocals which are reminiscent of the 1950’s.
It’s Right Infront of You again highlights the versatility on display. A spacey chilled out approach was applied to this one with it incorporating synths, wiring affects and psychedelic keyboard sounds. But I have to take note of the bass (expertly put down by Clare Kenny) really shines through and for me is what I hone into when I put this on. If you appreciate a great bassline then this is one I am sure you’ll enjoy.
Opening up with a great lead guitar line and words that have described me on many occasions:
‘Five twenty five on a Monday morning,
And I’m lying on my unmade bed,
Outside these walls there’s a new day dawning,
As the sky turns from black to red,
‘But I can’t sleep a wink,
Am I losing control?
I’m doubled up in agony,
Won’t you help me unfold?’
Fitting easily alongside every other song the other outstanding compositions that make Gorgeous Gorge the top album it is. Explaining the impact that special someone can have on you.
A gritty bluesy riff is at the centre of the piece that most accurately described me when I gave this album a listen I’ve Got it Bad. A straight forward love song. It is a guitar line that all fellow players would be proud to have made. A guitar part that makes others wish that they had played it is a true sign of a magical tune.
Gorgeous George is one of those albums that every artist strives to create. Edwyn Collins is a special artist that is loved by those who know him and have dived further into his back catalogue. Gorgeous George has the wide array of styles keeping it exiting, the prowess of Collins song writing, producing ability (he self-produced it as well) and musicianship really do make this a timeless collection.