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CD Review - Humphreys and Keen - "The Overflow" - Dave's Ramblings [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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CD Review - Humphreys and Keen - "The Overflow" [Dec. 26th, 2007|08:49 pm]
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[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |busybusy]
[music |Humphreys and Keen - "La Vie!"]

The Able Tasmans have been a very sneaky little bunch of pop stars, in that they have sneaked a new CD out under everybody's noses without actually letting anyone know about it. In fact, if someone over at Public Address hadn't let the cat out of the bag, I'd probably still not know about it.

Part of their success in hiding this CD from public view has been their use of "Humphreys and Keen" as the artist name. Indeed, the CD masquerades as a Graeme Humphreys and Peter Keen joint effort, quite successfully, until about half a minute from the end of the second track, "Eyes of a Blue Dog", when the acoustic ballad façade drops for a short time and some of the Tasmans' trademark pop white noise creeps in. Looking at the artist credits in the booklet, it's no surprise to see Jane Dodd and Craig Mason as the rhythm section on many of the tracks; and Ron Young and Leslie Jonkers also get thanked (the latter for the CD cover...)

From that point, it's fairly obvious that this is an Able Tasmans album in all but name. "Miles" is one of the sort of oddities that crept into the Tasmans' last "official" album, and "You Smiled" is a quick, cheerful, pop song. But in a universe where a CD of Christmas music for dogs (inaudible to humans) is a big hit, what place would an actual good song have?

"Clancy" appears to be the title track of the CD; if the hint of this song's title and the album title hadn't been enough of a dead giveaway, the songwriting credit (music: G. Humphreys; lyrics: A.B. Paterson) would have been. Although, in their typically perverse manner, they haven't actually set "Clancy of the Overflow" to music. They've just taken snippets of Banjo Paterson (doing a bit of quick googling, one particularly striking verse is lifted from "The Geebung Polo Club") and set them to Humphreys' music.

"The Liquor Talking" starts worryingly (pedal steel guitars on a pop song are never a good sign) but, thankfully, the country and western influence vanishes quickly. "The End of the Golden Weather" impresses, as does "La Vie!". Most of the other tracks are pleasant if not particularly important, but the CD as a whole is most listenable.

And they've hidden one of the best songs at the end of the CD as a "hidden track". I have no idea what it's called (I'm going to call it "Taken Man" until I find out its actual name) but it's vintage Able Tasmans.