Del Amitri – Waking Hours

There was a time in my life when I tended to enjoy some of the poppier albums on the musical spectrum. This is a Big Admission for me to make, given that time and access to disposable income has allowed me to grow beyond the saccrine to things of a little bit more weight and intelligence. But there is a small part of me that still wants to hear some of those Lighter Fare songs from my youth every rare now and again.

Stemming from this old habit, I recently gave one of my favourite late-80’s albums a try, just to see how it stood up to the test of time. Following a first spin, Waking Hours is still one of the better albums I’ve heard. Contained within are ten perfectly crafted little pop songs, and so much more besides.

This album will never rattle your cage, but neither will it make you lose interest at any point. It’ll tickle your ear drums with polite washes of well-written music that hint pleasingly at celtic influences, occasional sprays of slide acoustic guitar, and intelligent lyrics that fit the project flawlessly.

It took me a while to find this album, at the time. When I was on my search all those years ago, I’d convinced myself that the song I’d heard on the radio was by the Hothouse Flowers, and so I bought several HF albums before realizing that what I wanted was, indeed, Del Amitri. I got some cool HF albums in the process, but I admittedly felt a little silly in my error.

Anyway, I amazed myself  on my recent journey through these tracks by remembering every word to every song as I played this album through. This only happens with albums that I played many times, ones about which I cared. It was like rediscovering a long-lost old friend and, despite the elapsed time between plays, realizing that it’s like no time at all has passed.

There isn’t a bad song on this disc. You’d do well to trundle up to the attic, dig through the boxes of detritus from your past, blow the dust off your copy of this record and give it another chance. You’ll be pleasantly surprised, and highly pleased that something so strong came from what seems like so long ago.

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