Scream Please – The Used Notes (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There is a wonderful irony sitting at the heart of The Used Notes music. For whilst there is a wilful anonymity to the project, a writer and producer collaborating with various singers and musicians to see the songs to fruition but leaving the band largely faceless and the the audience free to approach the music without any prompting or suggestion, Scream Please is exactly the sort of music that if promoted in a certain way would probably fill stadiums and sell in big numbers. Not that everyone wants to go down such a route and the artistic sacrifices that are part of that journey and you have to respect that decision.  For many the art is more important than the artifice and The Used Notes certainly falls into that honest category.

But musically there is much about Scream Please that has mainstream appeal. The music sits somewhere between soulful R&B and a discerning, mature pop sound and it is easily accessible but without resorting to the usual chart cliches and shallow tricks that its rivals might seek to employ. It hooks, it zings with an understated grace, it pops in the most chilled out of ways and it certainly grooves, it is infectious and accessible but it is also cleverly put together, sassy, soulful and satisfying, and it adds an unexpected lyrical astuteness and depth to a genre that is normally happy to just to take the money and run. So much so that the end result is nothing less than deep and meaningful pop… in the sense that all music is essentially pop when it comes right down to it.

In short it is pop in an evening dress, pop with an eye on the long game, pop reaching its full potential. Throwaway pop songs that you will want to keep forever! Whatever will they think of next?

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