Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Howard Billington - Don't Go Home

Hear The Track Here

Out of the twenty or so Howard Billington tracks I have reviewed - either as Howard Billington or with group Smoke It 'n' Die - I can honestly say there isn't a bad one in the bunch and more than a couple that are ferociously good. More to the point, the last couple of years he has come very, very close to scooping up the Artist Of The Year Award and has only been eclipsed by two of Soundclicks bigger draws - Avalanche (Artist Of The Year 2010) and 333maxwell (Artist Of The Year 2009) - for that dubious honour. Mind you, this year has been a bit quiet on the Billington front, I only have two HoBi and two Smoke It 'n' Die tracks in my year end folder. Nonetheless, awards or no, Howard Billington is yet another Soundclick musician who can rightfully claim to be different - and there really aren't too many of them around.

Howard Billington does happy. Not yer happy clappy 'look-at-me-Jesus-loves-me' joyousness, or yer 'it's Christmas you HAVE to be happy' grim death either, just normal, everyday, infectious happiness at life. It's certainly one of the main reasons why I prize his material, we all need something to cling to in the storms innit? Don't Go Home is a new song, headed for inclusion on the upcoming To The End album and the track comments 'NEEDS A LOT MORE STUDIO ATTENTION' just to warn you that you might not 'get' it in its rough form. This from an artist who relishes in ramshackle (I mean that in the nicest way) and true enough the track is full of aural oddities although the music and song don't suffer too much from being essentially a 'live' mix.

Where HoBi scores in a big, big way is by being both a gifted songwriter and an excellent lyricist, as I said before there isn't a bad track in the bunch. Even this, despite the caveat from Howard, no-one REALLY notices these things unless the track really sucks in all directions and that has never been a charge you could level at this musician. Nope most people will either be blown away by just how good a solid pop song can sound, and how clever the style is, or they will not have taken any notice anyway - mix or no. I am firmly in the fan camp and I can't wait to hear what the final version of this is going to sound like but 2012 bodes very, very well for Mr Billington. (Ed: 'n' sho shay allufuz (hic, burp))

Highly Recommended rock energised pop.

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