Sunday, April 18, 2010

Howard Billington - Break It Up

Hear The Track Here

Don't know quite why Howard Billington has chosen to give me the first track from the freely downloadable Welcome To Tomorrow CD - 300 Years (March 2010) - and the last track (this one) but I'm sure that he has some crafty marketing ploy up his sleeve. Like his music, this is not a man to be taken lightly even if his image and his music invite you to do exactly that. I made that mistake for about ten seconds and then I played He Stole My Girl and promptly realised that appearances can indeed be deceptive. Essentially, despite his extremely English take on it, Howard Billington is a pop observer of life who just happens to write music about it and consequently making his track very accessible even to the most jaded of listeners (ie me). I freely admit that since I first made his acquaintance I have looked forward to hearing his material and that doesn't happen nearly often enough.

Howard turns his eye to rock for this track, although it has as much Britpop influence as rock and again shows that Howard is a consummate songwriter and I wish that he would post lyrics along with his tracks because - for my money - they are the best thing about any Howard Billington track. That's not to say that the music is sidelined because every single one of the four Howard Billington tracks I have reviewed has been musically tight and - here's a thing - fresh and inventive. Where 300 Years comes out of the punk field, it also shares a lot of the same attitude and style as Break It Up, almost if if this track were the grown up version of 300 Years. Definitely a Clash feel about the whole thing that's for sure, and that was punk grown up and serious as far as I am concerned.

I am intensely proud of my English musical heritage and I've already detailed the shoulders of the greats Howard is standing on in my review of Love Can Wait (February 2010) and it makes my appreciation of his lyrical side all the more important. Songwriters like Howard are a vital part of the whole English experience and - if they know their language - can be both uplifting and unsettling as in the case of the late, great Ian Dury, who - it has to be said - Howard Billington owes a big debt. Like the famed inventor of the Rhythm Stick though, Howard Billington knows that he has to bring his listeners along with him and his songs definitely do that. Can't say, hand on heart, that he has yet surpassed the highpoint that was He Stole My Girl but I've still got another ten tracks from the CD to go...

Highly Recommended English cockney rock stylee

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