Findlay Brown - Love WIll Find You (2009)
'Love Will Find You' is the stunning second album from Yorkshire man Findlay Brown, produced by former Suede guitarist turned uber producer Bernard Butler, and it heralds a dramatic change in musical direction.
The booming echoes of the Ronettes in the drums of the opening title track immediately lay bare this album's debt to vintage pop, but Findlay's Orbison-esque vocals create a more sumptuous emotional swell that make this so much more than an exercise in retro stylistics.
Elsewhere the gorgeous 'Everybody Needs Love' and 'I Had A Dream' offer the warm familiarity of melodies you think you know and love, but can't quite remember where from, as if they have already become weaved into your DNA from years of being lost in music. 'Holding Back The Night' is an upbeat, beautifully arranged track with Findlay's trademark sonorous vocals enhancing a magical song, while 'Nobody Cared' harks back to The Righteous Brothers, a vintage, melodic song at its best. More esoteric are the Joe-Meek-produces-The-Righteous- Brothers sweep of 'I Still Want You', punctuated with 'Telstar- style electric organ, the weary waltz of 'If I Could Do It Again' and the urgent jive of 'That's Right'.
So there are tales of the unexpected here if you want them, but lyrically as well as musically, this is an album which is happy not to reinvent the wheel. 'I wanted the words to be simple and straightforward too,' Findlay admits. 'Both records I have done have been romantic records, but the first album was more personal, whereas I wanted these to be universal themes, which are love songs but are also spiritual, reflecting my feelings about the world in general. It sounds daft but I do feel like I'm on a spiritual journey, and this is just the next step.'
And it's not just a small step, it's a giant leap. On one level, you could be forgiven for regarding this as a very conservative record, steeped as it is in songwriting values as old as rock'n'roll itself. But regarded in context alongside his previous work and the musical climate that surrounds him, you realise Findlay Brown has made the kind of radical creative departure that few mainstream artists ever dare to attempt.
Most importantly, you'll soon realise they don't write songs like this any more. Another piece of hoary old wisdom that we're not afraid to throw out there, and another cliche which will seem truer than ever the more you listen to this bold, refreshing and beautiful album.