Jim Noir – Jimmy's Show
As he approaches 30, Mancunian psych-popper Jim Noir shows no sign of relinquishing his child’s eye view of the world. Lyrically, third album Jimmy’s Show is frequently too whimsical for its own good, with many of its tales (the life of a chewing gum collector; the torment of wanting a cup of tea when the caddy’s empty; writing to Her Majesty and imagining her contentedly vacuuming palatial carpets) the musical equivalent of a novelty tie: clearly light-hearted in intention, but frequently eye-rolling in their effect.
Luckily, Noir balances the clangers with expert musicianship: he plays almost every note himself, evidencing his quirk-pop expertise most proficiently on the likes of The Tired Hairy Man with Parts (which starts out a sugar-spun harmonic meander, before nimbly tipping into something more Kinks-y), and shimmying highlight The Cheese of Jim’s Command. Inspired moments outnumber slumps, meaning that even at its silliest, Jimmy’s Show remains enjoyable. [Chris Buckle]