Duncan Lloyd is nothing if not productive. As well as being the driving force behind Maximo Park and busy with peripheral projects such as Decade in Exile and Nano Kino, he has still found time to release his second solo album. And if Seeing Double picked up mixed reviews and was criticised in some quarters for lack of polish and variety, IOUOME will hush any dissenting voices this time around.
It is an album that not only knows where it is going but also knows where it comes from and where it comes from in particular, is a place after my own heart. It embraces a wonderful post-punk sensibility, evokes some hazy Paisley Underground vibes and displays the same understatement that Stephen Duffy built The Lilac Time upon. It takes all of those influences and builds a modern pastoral-pop with it, one which balances spatial awareness with the right amount of production polish, folk chill with rock urges and deals with personal narratives and universal conditions.
This isn’t music for the big hit or the commercial rat race, this is more considered. It is music to love and cherish for its depth and ability to communicate, for its lush textures, wit and wisdom, but most of all for the sheer quality of the song writing. Hit singles come and go but great albums stay with us forever.