Pop review: Lightning Seeds, Four Winds


The return of the Lightning Seeds makes one realise how much Ian Broudie's incredible sense of melody has been missed. This time, though, he's moved away from the big pop songs that characterised his 90s output: there is no equivalent here of The Life of Riley. Four Winds is a subdued, melancholy record, reflecting on mortality and ageing (Broudie's brother killed himself three years ago, and the singer is now past 50), with Broudie's meditations set to lilting, gentle psychedelic pop. Even when the guitars are turned up, and the drums start stomping, the mood remains downbeat - the single Ghosts opens: "In this room/ There's no pictures on my wall/ The music plays/ I can't hear it anymore," nodding to Broudie's past as producer of Echo and the Bunnymen, but hardly the kind of elated sentiment calculated to inspire singalongs. This is gorgeous stuff though, straddling the divide between sombre and beautiful with an easy grace.


Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

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