Glass half full on optimistic gem from gifted songwriter.
The errant and always spot on protest singer has put down the placards for this breezy, joy filled album that reflects on glasses half full and lives worth living despite circumstances. Recorded in his new home county of Kent, Beans retains his cracked singing style which reminds of both John Otway and Nick Lowe and his witty lyricism. Subject matters are more personal; reaffirming love in ‘Let’s Get Married Again’, ‘Stones’ is not a song about ageing rockers but rather an affecting acoustic paean to beaches walked and the stones found. ‘Blow Volcano Blow’ is a madcap horn driven thing encouraging expression or is it explosion? ‘Not Everybody Thinks We’re Doomed’ sees Beans pursuing this change of attitude accentuating the positive and more than any track reminds of Ian Dury with its delivery and lyrical gymnastics.
Most of the tracks have a ramshackle air but this is rooted in a musicality that the production promotes rather than glosses over, there’s a real sense that this is raw song writing, almost busking in its lo-fi approach but satisfying in its authenticity. The final few bars of the final song ‘Love Yourself’ is as defiantly uplifting as anything heard this year, I defy you not to listen with a huge grin on the face. This reviewer’s biggest issue with Beans is his name. Work of this quality should be heard by many and despite a growing reputation I still feel that performing and producing under this moniker undermines his commercial potential but maybe that’s what it’s meant to do. What the hell do I know?
I’ll tell you what I know. This is a great album.