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MARTIN GORDON Time Gentlemen Please Radiant Future (2009)

Martin Gordon

The final chapter in his apocalyptical Mammal Trilogy spanning five socially -observant solo albums (no, bear with me here, it's worth it...) finds former Sparks bassist Gordon in a state of elated exuberancy, plunging with brutally droll verve into this last-gasp swipe at the folly of the human condition.

It's a heady cocktail of Gordon-penned pop/swing/rock/music hall by way of prog, served up by the Germany-based Brit and his crack US/Swedish band (his bitter-sweet lyricism brilliantly expressed by vocalist Pelle Almgren) with Bonzo-esque ukelele and double bass thumping away in the background.

Gordon wears his influences by way of celebration rather than emulation: Sailor, Robyn Hitchcock, Ray Davies, Todd Rundgren, Pink Floyd and the Small Faces are spirited away here. And then there's the man's brilliantly mordant take on the Fab Four's 'I Feel Fine'; within it's emotionally charged contrariness lies one of the finest Beatles covers ever. That his writing stands up so well alongside marks Martin Gordon as one of Britain's most accomplished songwriters.

There is not a duff track on this album yet he resides on music's touchline. From his stool in this metaphorical Last Chance Saloon, Gordon urges his maker "Come out, come out whoever you are, my God, whoever you are". We must urge him harder to do the same: from start to finish, this is just great music.


Review by Peter Muir

Best of 2009

Peter Muir presents "Progressive Rock Fusion" on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sunday 19:00, Monday 19:00

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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