Fyfe Dangerfield - Fly Yellow Moon
It’s a while since a name has sounded quite so ironic. Fly Yellow Moon, the solo debut from Guillemots frontman, Fyfe Dangerfield, is as safe a record as you’ll hear this year. Main producer, Ross Noble, has previously worked with Coldplay, Paul McCartney and George Michael (as well as Guillemots), and he’s certainly made a decent job of polishing an album focused on guitar and piano ballads.
Occasionally, Fly Yellow Moon is punctuated by something more rousing. Current single, 'She Needs Me', for example, sounds like proper 70s singer-songwriter material. Excessively string-laden, it eventually nudges towards disco with what appears to be a cheeky nod to 'Fame'. You almost have to admire how out of touch it seems with everything in 2010. Those left unimpressed by this might still enjoy 'Faster Than The Setting Sun', the song here that most resembles classic Guillemots, and by classic Guillemots I mean the band’s first album. It has a bluster, a dynamism lacking elsewhere on Fly Yellow Moon. (Both of the aforementioned tracks were produced by Bernard Butler). The other major high point is opener 'When You Walk In The Room', possessing an impressive stomp and showcasing Fyfe’s voice at its most expressive. Story has it that it was recorded after an over-indulgence in red wine and, in the best possible way, it shows; it doesn't so much wear its heart on its sleeve as its sense of fun down the front of its shirt.
Quieter moments, like the title song and 'Firebird', haunt at the time without necessarily lingering in the mind afterwards. Fly Yellow Moon is a solidly crafted but predictable album. Lacking the mercurial imagination evident in Guillemots' excellent early singles (see 'Trains To Brazil', 'Made-up Love Song #43'), it appears to be an attempt to cast a spell over the Radio 2 demographic and it's hard to imagine it failing this aim. Still, super for a Sunday morning.