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Split Sofa - 'Coloured Dream' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 14, 2013    
 
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Sixth album by the East Midlands-based band.

Never heard of Split Sofa? Well, this is their sixth album so it could be argued that they must be doing something wrong. On the basis of the barnstorming start to 'Coloured Dream' however, this assertion can be successfully dismissed, so perhaps this East Midlands-based band whose musical approach apparently "draws influences from The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Kula Shaker ad British 60's Psychedelia" have something to offer after all?

The reality is that I have found this album to be rather a curate's egg (you know, one of those where it's good in parts). When it's good – as in the opening pair of 'She Really Moved Me' and 'Don't Breathe In' it's very, very good indeed, but there is a distinct ordinariness in the middle part of the album, with songs including 'Fallin' Leaves', 'Magical Spell' and 'Lovely Day' all being rather pedestrian, despite the obvious Beatle-esque stylings of the first of this trio.

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It's song quality that lets them down rather than the performances (and is here certainly not the "hypnotic psychedelia" the publicity is claiming, "soporific inducing" being nearer the mark!) Thankfully, the spark present in the early songs returns for the concluding pairing of 'Long Lost Serenade' and 'Songbyrd/Merry Go Round' both of which are absolutely fantastic songs and performances which once again showcase an undeniably talented quintet and where the "HP" assertion certainly rings true!

From what I've read, the songs for the next Split Sofa (great name by the way!) album are already being written. Well, I can but urge the band to take great care in producing an album with songs and performances of the wonderful quality that so successfully bookend 'Coloured Dream'. Then (as the saying goes) they will be "cooking on gas"!

I will await its arrival at my desk with great interest ...

Paul Jerome Smith

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