Posts Tagged ‘Busted’


Charlie Simpson’s Young Pilgrim

Reviewed by James Christopher Sheppard

Charlie Simpson is a name many will know. Some from his days as a third of teen bopping band Busted and some will know him as front man of alternative rock band Fightstar. Either way, Simpson has been known since 2002 and has been a part of five studio albums. At the age of 26, Charlie is releasing his first full-length solo release and it sounds pretty distanced from anything the singer/songwriter has been involved in before.
‘Down Down Down’
First single from the album is a good indication of what is to come. The song is entirely acoustic driven, with thick as treacle vocals, laden with emotional depth. The folk-rock ballad is stacked with multi-layered harmonies and builds to a gentle climax.
10/10
‘Parachutes’
‘Parachutes’, also the second single, picks up the pace and builds on what ‘Down, Down’ has already established. This is possibly the most radio-friendly and mature that Simpson has ever sounded. Brilliant.
10/10
‘All at Once’
‘All at Once’ at first entices with it’s toe tapping beats, but the sound soon turns to a sorrow filled as the song of heartbreak progresses. Simpson’s vocals sound confident and crystal clear, with the song completely utilising his unique tones.
9/10
‘Thorns’
Gentle, with a subtlety that draws you right in to the melodic dreamy higher tones of vocal harmony going on in the background, ‘Thorns’ is a careful ballad. The softer verses against the more exuberant choruses work wonders here.
9/10
‘Cemetery’
The fifth track shifts the memento into a new direction. ‘Cemetery’ is a combination of pop-rock-folk, which makes for a charming reminiscent song and one of absolute authenticity. Simpson’s voice is pushed to the limit, experimenting with his higher range and occasionally showing moments of strain, which surprisingly, adds to the song.
9/10
‘Hold On’
The most mellow moment of the album so far, ‘Hold On’, is lead by multiple layers of Simpson’s harmonies against a backdrop of strings, arranged by the renowned string arranger, Audrey Riley. A well crafted smooth ballad.
9/10
‘I Need a Friend Tonight’
The second string lead track, with assistance from Riley, is simple and melodic. ‘Friend’ is mid-tempo, soft and changes the mood of the album somewhat, as Simpson and the song both remain quite delicate and fragile. It’s hard to decipher whether ‘Friend’ is Simpson claiming he has found or is looking for religion, or if he is claiming he is lost and still can’t find his way home. I’ll let you decide, but it’s a pleasant song all the same.
7/10
‘Suburbs’
The tempo picks up a little with ‘Suburbs’, but the song in all it’s simplicity does little to further what is already great about Young Pilgrim. ‘I need you now, I need you now’ Simpson repeats. It’s possibly the least remarkable song on the album, but it still is not bad.
6/10
‘Sundown’
The temp change was only temporary as we are back down to the balladry of ‘Hold On’. ‘My heart is yearning for you dear’- this strikingly scarce track is one of the most powerful on Young Pilgrim in terms of pure passion.
9/10
Read the rest of the review at Eyewear
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I’m going to the Wireless festival in Hyde Park on Sunday so thought I’d best get listening to some of the bands I am less familiar with that are playing so I don’t miss out on anything. One of the bands I am surprised at how decent their music is, is The Pretty Reckless. Pretty certainly being an appropriate name, as their lead singer, Taylor Momsen, is an actress and model; you may know her from Gossip Girl

Having never seen an episode of Gossip Girl and having never heard of Taylor, I am judging what I am hearing purely on that- what I am hearing. Yeah, their music is nothing new- it’s melodic rock music with a female singer, but it’s done very well indeed, and there isn’t a lot of new artists emerging lately doing it as well as they are. Through checking out some forums and last.fm I wasn’t surprised to see the lack of respect the band has, from learning who Taylor is, and it seems to be because she is hot. If she was singing electronic music and trying to be Ke$ha, surely that would go in her favour? How often have you heard people complain that Lady Gaga isn’t attractive or has a dick (not my opinion, I might add)? If she was a rock star, you can bet no-one would say a word. No-one ever moans about the attractiveness of Courtney Love or Alanis Morissette– and they aren’t models. It seems then, that pop seems reserved only for the beautiful and rock only for the un-model-worthy folk. What a crock of shit. Why can’t people just judge what they hear and not what they see or use what the singer did before against them? Fightstar are a brilliant example of how fucking awesome a band can be when their lead singer began in the poppiest of bands. Yes, Charlie Simpson was of course, in Busted.

Judge The Pretty Reckless for yourselves, here is the video for ‘Miss Nothing’