Doug Collins & The Receptionists
Good Sad News
Heartbreakers and Lovemakers For Romantics of All Generations.
Sadly, for me this has arrived at RMHQ a couple of weeks after release; which would normally (well, sometimes) preclude it from getting reviewed; but just a cursory glance at the cover gave me a 90% chance that I would like what was contained inside; and my Spidey-Sense was spot on yet again.
When the fabulous Conversation With My Heart came dancing out of the office speakers, I knew I was onto a winner, with the poptastic Americana beat and melody being the exact kind of music that the world needs right now. Commercial to the Max – yes; but Collin’s sensitive lyrics reminded me of Jonathan Richman at his height; and even a couple of those early Robbie Fulks albums too.
Oddly; things only get better and better.
Collins somehow manages to take the traditional ‘boy/girl fall in love/break up’ concept that is a stalwart of Pop Music; and turn it upside down on Tomorrow and Hey Mary, with the latter having a neat Mariachi melody too; and both have very clever stories that will leave you entranced if you give them enough time, and the former can be summed up in one fabulous couplet;
“I saw hope through a telescope
now it’s turned the wrong end
Tomorrow it’s true
You’re fading from view.”
Now do you understand why I’ve fallen in love with this album so quickly?
I don’t know how old you are, or the state of your romantic life; but Crush On You and I Saw You Dancin’ will both transport you back to your teenage years when songs like this would actually be 45RPM singles that you would play and play and play ……… until you had no tears left to cry. Who knows; perhaps they will have the same effect today; albeit when you are listening via $200 ear buds on your Samsung Galaxy telephone.
I hope so.
While I’m still getting to grips with a couple of songs here; more than a few really do stand out and deserve your attention ……. especially if you have access to a Radio Broadcast; the final track Top of the Watertower is a real crunchy and punchy song about having that secret place you can go to that no one else knows about; and that’s just as important at my age now as it was when I was 14; and the band capture that feeling quite perfectly.
The other is a beautiful sweeping ballad in the mode of Roy Orbison and/or Billy Joel (his early years of course) that has Collins stretching his vocals to hit the notes and your heart in equal measure, on the marvelous Please Don’t Make Me Leave You; and again; if this was a 45RPM single you would wear it out by Thursday night, and have to buy a replacement with your pocket money on Friday.
When I’m reviewing I try to picture the demographic that the artiste is aiming for and for once I can honestly say that this is for everyone …… hipsters, teenagers and lovelorn oldies like me…… romantics all. We will all get the same feeling that there is someone else suffering from love in exactly the same way we are; and that man is Doug Collins.
Released Europe 3rd April 2019
Released North America September 2018.