OUR FUTURE IN SPACE
Our Favourite Scouse Rocker Has His Most Arrogant Mojo Back!
Robert Ian McNabb would be the first to tell you that he’s never recorded an album that was anything less than brilliant; although some have been more brilliant than others.
In my humble opinion (as a mega-fan) he did have a bit of a lull a few years ago but; and I don’t think it’s a coincidence; following his truly excellent ‘covers album’ RESPECTFULLY YOURS he most certainly now has his most arrogant mojo back!
With several recent UK tours in the guise of his alter-ego The Icicle Works under his belt, that distinctive ‘sound’ is all pervading on the first couple of songs here; especially the sonic assault of opening track I Can See Tomorrow; with it’s crashing guitars and industrial strength back beat from the bass and drums; while the catchy melody has you unceremoniously tapping your toes and nodding your head along to Mac’s insightful and poetic lyrics.
Phew; you can’t even get your breath back before the trademark ‘jangly guitars’ of Supermoon set fire to your speakers and McNabb treats us to another ‘modern classic’ that is destined to be ignored by the world at large but adored by his ever growing fan base.
Hopefully all of those fans who can’t let the Icicle Works songs go; will finally fall in love with a McNabb solo album as more than a few songs here (Reeperbahn? The Day I Learned To Say No? The glorious Vodka Rivers and Cigarette Trees?) are natural successors to those heady days of our collective youth; but overall this is 100% an Ian McNabb album with no quarter given to commercial success.
He’s always been an exceptional songwriter; as his solo acoustic tour always prove and yet again he finds beauty in some of the ugliest parts of our lives; with Toxic and Throw The Rest Away being bittersweet love songs that in my opinion only RI McNabb could write and drop into your consciousness like a time-bomb.
Hahaha…..I’d heard My Accuser a couple of times before the penny dropped! For such an opinionated person Ian can be a bit thin skinned; and this glorious sub-Pet Sounds opus is his response to all of his critics on Social Media; and what a doozy it is too.
Long time fans; such as I will probably go straight to the glorious final song Girls From Across The Water before even track #1 as it looks like it could be and actually is a sort of coda to my favourite Ian McNabb song of all time Liverpool Girls; and the world is a much better place now those girls have grown up.
In another world there would be several contenders for the title of ‘RMHQ Favourite Song’; the nod to the mystical Folk-Rock of Traffic, Aquamarine, A Secret Everyone Knows and Makin’ Silver Sing are all as good as anything Boots has ever recorded #FACT; but in typical Ian McNabb fashion there is one song here that could and should win every award going come Christmas; not for the first time in recent years our favourite Scouse Lothario writes about a Spring/Autumn type relationship in a way that no other songwriter possibly can….. because Our Future In Space; I’m sure is pretty damn autobiographical!
An almost perfect three minutes of bittersweet, tongue in cheek with a huge production song about a man dating a much younger girl with ‘aspirations’ starts with her wanting an Audi A8 and culminates with Ian groaning “She wants me to wear skinny jeans…….I’m 57, for fucks sake please!”
As he himself once admitted in song, “I’m a Genius.” And he is; albeit an unheralded one.
Only time will tell where this album finally fits into Ian McNabb’s canon of work; but today I feel it sits comfortably alongside his finest master-works Merseybeast and Head Like a Rock; which is high praise indeed from a man with far too many Ian McNabb and Icicle Works bootlegs in his collection.
Released July 10th 2018