Willy Moon - Here's Willy Moon

Like all newbies who make a pass at the year's zeitgeist-catching debut, Willy Moon has exhaustively done the rounds - only, with this guy, the Jools Holland appearances and ad trails overkill haven't necessarily made Here Comes Willy Moon an immediate must-buy proposition. There's certainly intrigue here, mostly beyond the one-trick likes of 'Yeah Yeah' which, for all its Wu-Tang bombast and 'Hey, look at me' attitude, is ultimately a hollow air-horn blast exercising its supposed entitlement to 'party anthem' status. Keep in mind that Moon is no mere primped-up focal point; aside from some tweaking from Pulp's Steve Mackey, this is his brainchild and his charismatic talents make an impression during the album's brief running time. Heck, Jack White's a fan! But the question remains: will you be able to hack the brash melting pot of sounds?

The obvious touchstone is Mark Ronson but without the A-list cast; instead, the sharp-suited entertainer's spotlight shines on his genre monster mash, blending rough retro blues with slick hip-pop production. Moon struts a bizarre, shaky shimmy through his record collection but, like an over-excitable child, his attempts to charm don't always work. So, 'Railroad Track's noirish 'Jesus Walks' cinematics are dampened by nagging Hard-Fi similarities, while a take on 'I Put a Spell On You' lacks the requisite magic to make it worthwhile. A few experiments click (you may have heard the sultry, urban-licked 'Get Up') and even excite ('My Girl''s industrial summer pop, for instance). When the highlight is a shuddering, atmospheric instrumental entitled 'Murder Ballad' though, you kind of want to skip the expendable thrills for the Nick Cave, 'real artist' period. At just 23, he's got time.

Overall

5

out of 10

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