Release Date: 02.25.03
Record label: Mute
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.
Stick Your Neck Out
by: peter naldrett - uk correspondent
Ill stick my neck out and say that this album is going nowhere. Giraffe is the oddly named new CD from Echoboy, the guise taken on by musical wizard Richard Warren. Ill also stick my neck even further out and say its a huge shame this wont make it big because Warren deserves to have his day in the sun. Maybe its like his uncharacteristically poor album filler "Good On TV" suggests with the line Its never gonna happen to me/Cause I dont look good on TV.
Warren has always been hovering around one the verge of being one of the biggest names in pop and rock, but its just never happened to him. He was the lead singer in the incredibly talented band The Hybirds, who were on the way to stardom when they split in the late 1990s, and then Warren took a huge personal risk when he turned down the chance to join Oasis so he could pursue a solo career. So far that solo career has not come to anything anything like as big as a giraffes neck, but Giraffe holds plenty of hidden secrets that you can seek out for yourself if you get hold of a copy. The new single, "Automatic Eyes," is a bright enough start, but flick your remote on a while to come across the real gems.
Warrens northern accent would have been at home backing Oasis, but it also sounds well accompanying well-chosen samples, excellent bass and thrashing guitars on the incredible "Wasted Spaces." "Lately Lonely" is another that captures the imagination, performed in the style of an 80s disco track with cheesy bells and a rhythm that would make Jimmy Sommerville happy. And while some of the experimental nature of Giraffe falls a bit flat (see "Fun In You" and "High Speed in Love"), much of this pioneering artists work is very accessible and no more so than "Dont Destroy Me," which steadily samples and loops its way towards a solid climax.
Giraffe is indeed an interesting creature. You dont see many animals like this around on the High Street, and when you do you feel you have to approach with caution. But it wont bite, and if you take this Giraffe home it may well teach you to look at your musical collection a little differently. Warren has worked with the likes of Doves and Luke Slater and has just completed a brief UK tour of his own. Check out Giraffe, there is a lot on there that needs to be heard. Alas, if you do check it out you will be in the minority and that means Richard Warren will still have to wait for it to happen to him. 20-Jan-2003 1:17 PM