Release Date: Mar 15, 2011
Record label: Mercury
Returning to action after a ten-year delay in recording -- a decade when he was not inactive, devoting a large portion of time to his Live 8 charity -- Bob Geldof presented How to Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell, a transparently ironic title for a collection of tunes not intended to sell themselves or anything. Apart from the bluesoid skronk of "Blow Fish" -- a blast of misdirection placed toward the front -- there isn’t much here that could be seen as immediate, the kind of song that populates the pop charts. Even when the tempo percolates a bit -- the sleekly glassy “Silly Pretty Thing” -- nothing gets heated and much of the album is ruminative in a way that leans heavily on Dylan and Costello.
Wisdom and reflection have finally overtaken venomous splurge, for the better. Andy Fyfe 2011 It’s easy to forget that, first and foremost, Bob Geldof considers himself a musician, that he is compulsively driven to write, record and perform music as his primary vehicle for attempting change in the world. It’s unquestionable that through the Band Aid franchise he has changed the world, but whether his own music has managed it is moot.