After five albums and over ten years fronting Scots rockers The View, Kyle Falconer goes it alone on his first solo album, inspired by family and therapy and owing its title to a chat with Liam Gallagher.
Falconer’s chirpy Dundonian brogue is as upbeat as ever, but the songs are missing some of that ramshackle quality that won the View their mid-2000s success. With strings and piano accompanying acoustic guitar strums, Falconer has revisited some of the instrumentation that littered the ambitious (but ultimately doomed) second View album ‘Which Bitch?’
Lyrically Falconer deals with his struggles with alcohol and substance abuse, and the process of cleaning up while starting his own family. It’s candid stuff that doesn’t quite resonate due to Falconer’s characteristically chipper delivery. ‘Kelly’ is a well-intentioned but confused ditty about a schoolmate’s gender identity, a bright melody undercut by its head-scratching lyrics.
‘Poor Me’ borrows the Alcoholics Anonymous catchphrase to anchor a standard slab of indie rock, ‘Confusion’ adds some Beatles-esque strings and ‘Family Tree’ has a nice hand-clap breakdown, but nothing here matches the energy of the View’s early days, where the band emerged as one of the darlings of the ‘landfill indie’ explosion.
While it’s welcome to hear flourishes of harmonica, strings and keys return to the mix it’s a shame the band aren’t along for the ride, and that a lot of the songs feel either tired or perfunctory from a songwriter who emerged in 2006 with an ear for a hook and bundles of energy.