Album Review Charlie Hickey - Nervous At Night3-5 Stars
‘Nervous At Night’ places Charlie at a crossroads, largely in-keeping with its coming of age tale.
At its best, ‘Nervous At Night’ harks to the haze of Elliott Smith, not least through Charlie Hickey’s subtle vocals. ‘Gold Line’ marries this with a distinct bedroom-pop style that pushes past the understated fingerpicking of ‘Mid Air’ and ‘Planet With Water’. The sound feels more comfortable in its grander state, but the ebbs and flows are pulled together by his expert ability to capture a moment. Where the album drifts towards classic singer-songwriter territory – see ‘Thirteen’ - it’s this storytelling that firmly grounds it in the alternative. But ‘Nervous At Night’ places Charlie at a crossroads, largely in-keeping with its coming of age tale. There are hints at a push for the mainstream, much like divisive megastar Ed Sheeran’s early balance of folk-pop on arguable career highlight ‘The A Team’. The album is strongest either side of this, going big on the title-track or embracing Charlie’s subtle, emo nature on ‘Choir Song (I Feel Dumb)’. It’s here he best captures the dusty West Coast haze, and vivid teenage melancholia.
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