Paul Smith – Diagrams

An interesting one from Mr Smith this as his perennial search for fresh song-writing terrain sees him visiting a land constructed from the lo-fi guitar buzz of Blur’s ‘Blur’ and the hi-art cocktail party elegance of Roxy Music’s ‘Avalon’.    It sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it absolutely does.

Owing much to Smith’s love of art-school intellect and unashamed postmodernism, ‘Diagrams’ takes us on a musical journey of la dolce vita (‘John’, ‘Through the beauty contest’ and ‘Hollywood Hills’) with Ferry-esque croons, light sax and highly intellectual characters, matching it with distant lo-fi, guitar-heavy, art-rock sounds and moments of confession (‘Silver rabbit’, ‘Your orbit’).

‘When I turned 30 I went back to school’ Smith notes on ‘Around and Around’, if this is what comes from lifelong learning then we all should think about going back.