Saturday, 5 November 2011
Review: Stu Pollard
Stu Pollard - New Tricks (Lunacy Unlimited)
Though “New Tricks” is Stu Pollard’s musical debut, he’s hardly a stranger to the popular arts, directing a couple of feature films, and playing a part in the production of several others. With a resume like that, I suppose it’s hardly surprising that there’s plenty of drama in his songs. Equally it’s no shock to discover that the roots of “New Tricks” can be traced back to Pollard’s contribution to soundtrack work on his own films. His sound, an upbeat mix of grown-up ‘80s blue-eyed soul (think Hall & Oates, Phil Collins, etc.) and their modern day equals, such as James Morrison, Pollard may well be onto something.
The album begins with “There Comes a Time”, one of the strongest tracks, a lively, no-holds-barred floor filler, with more than enough pop barbs to keep mainstream daytime radio happy. Other choice cuts include “By Design”, an almost funky, guitar heavy, dance-rock epic that clocks in at close to six minutes, and the far gentler “Don’t You Know”, an old school love song that effortlessly straddles his influences. Whether Pollard’s various other commitments will detrimentally effect the promotion of “New Tricks”, I’ve no idea, but fans of classic FM radio, mature songwriting and good old fashioned pop craft should check it out.