Tim Burgess - Oh No I Love You

A perfect amalgamation that frequently brings to mind records like Lambchop’s own imperial opus ‘Nixon’.

Label: O Genesis

Rating: 7

Tim Burgess’ second solo album is ten years in the making. While attending a Lambchop gig in his native of Manchester in 2000 Burgess carried Kurt Wagner’s guitar to his car while casually observing that the two should work together in the future. What once began as idle chat all those years ago has since grown into ‘Oh No, I Love You’, a collaboration with Burgess writing the music and Wagner providing the lyrics. It is arguably the finest collection of songs the Charlatans singer has put his name to in his long 20+ year career.

‘Oh No, I Love You’ is the spirit of Manchester meeting the soul of Nashville. It is a perfect amalgamation that frequently brings to mind records like Lambchop’s own imperial opus ‘Nixon’, and the addition of Burgess’ voice gives a welcome fresh perspective on the sweeping lyrical grandiosity of Wagner.

The album has been put together by long time Lambchop producer Mark Nevers and features a number of special guests accompanying a band of seasoned Nashville greats; Carl Broehmel, Chris Scruggs and 70-year-old saxophonist Denis Solee are among the most notable guests. Perhaps the most striking contribution is made by Factory Floor drummer Gabe Gurnsey who adds some beguiling electronic effects to ‘White’ and the jaunty ‘The Great Outdoors Bitches’. All the assorted expertise helps to give the album a hugely coherent and authentic sound rich with gravitas. It is Burgess’ voice and personality, however, that give it a real soul.

Despite the lyrics not being his own, he still sounds utterly committed giving a number of heartfelt performances, from sounding world weary and resigned on the doleful ‘A Case For Vinyl’ to imbued with effervescence sense of exuberance on the glorious ‘The Economy‘. It’s simply a joy to hear his falsetto in full flow.

All the album’s soulful, stirring qualities are brought to a head on the stunning closing track, ‘A Gain’. A sensitive and heartfelt ode to love it is brought to a swelling crescendo courtesy of Nashville gospel group The McCrary Family Singers, and provides a fittingly lovely conclusion to the album.

‘Oh No, I Love You’ is something of a revelation for the 45-year-old Burgess. While the Charlatans have grown into worthy yet uninspiring treading of the indie boards it appears their singer has been finding new inspiration. The result is one of this year’s most welcome collaborations. Definitely worth the ten-year wait.