Album Review Dave Rowntree - Radio Songs

An exciting, experimental, laid back 11 tracks.

Dave Rowntree - Radio Songs

Dave Rowntree may be best known as the drummer for Blur but he has, in recent years, also been working on a range of scores for film and television like the BBC’s The Capture. Now, like bandmates Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon, Dave is embarking on a solo career. Debut ‘Radio Songs’ is titled for memories of building radio kits with his dad as a child and his love for all things static. Given the musical breadth of Blur and his bandmates’ associated projects, it’s not really surprising that the record takes from many styles. There are elements of trip hop, pop, lo fi and even classical; opener ‘Devil’s Island’ captures the most trip hop flavour of the record, built around his vocals and its chorus of “You roar like lions, but you die like lambs”. ‘London Bridge’, meanwhile, incorporates both electronic and grunge elements, making it a fascinating listen. ‘HK’ features cut-up recordings of radio broadcasts from Hong Kong while he was there recording Blur’s last record in 2015, while ‘Black Sheep’ is a sumptuous piano-based ballad, and ‘Who’s Asking’ is a gorgeous instrumental, which began life as a choral piece for a film score but feels at home here in the sprawling sonic variety on display. Still, there are moments where the experimentation doesn’t quite pay off: ‘Tape Measure’ seems to come from a different project altogether. As one has come to expect from a Blur side project, ‘Radio Songs’ isn’t quite a standard LP yet, impressively, Dave’s voice holds up well throughout, showing vulnerability. It makes for an exciting, experimental, laid back 11 tracks, and we can only hope this isn’t the last solo work from him.


Tags: Dave Rowntree, Album Reviews

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