You would think that the guy that pretty much invented minimalist pop would get a little publicity when he puts out an album, but it seems like people would rather relive the Young Marble Giants heyday of 1980. There was a lot press for the recent 3 disc Domino reissue of Colossal Youth with most reviews not even mentioning that Stuart Moxham is still alive and has new album out called The Huddle House. Too bad, because while Colossal Youth was a great record, Moxham is still going strong writing biting pop songs strung over a minimalist frame. On his first album in over 10 years, he is accompanied by French maestro Louis Philippe who provides the arrangements, additional guitars and harmonies.
The music is sweet and charming, but the lyrics are biting, bitter and gloomy. It takes a while to notice the dourness of the songs, because of their bright pop sheen. A lot of the lyrics are so personal and downright sad, they’ll bring a tear to your eye if you listen closely. The arrangements are stripped down, but they have a very fleshed out feel to them. Philippe’s beatiful backing harmonies, really compliment Moxham’s singing. Musically some of the songs have a melancolic feel to them that remind me of Blueboy, while others have a more upbeat bossa nova-ish sound. I think it’s this contrast that makes the record so engaging, and if you think about it, a lot of great bands have delved into the happy sounding sad pop song combination. The Smiths, Brilliant Corners, and Cure all come to mind.
Buy: The Huddle House