'Tower of Love'
My Dad / Atlantic
Taking his cue from the Beta Band, Noir's first album is a collection of his first three critically acclaimed EPs with a couple of new tracks thrown in for good measure. Current single Key of C is Brian Wilson at his most childlike; "I want to be in the key of C - it's easier to play it," which could either have you marvelling at his effortless pop genius or developing a facial tic through sheer irritation, depending on your taste. Far better is the territorial opener My Patch which cheerily acknowledges his darker side, and The Computer Song whose refrain "Every time I try to make a silly little song, my efforts are all wasted cos machinery goes wrong" must resonate with every modern musician. The other inescapable touchstones are the Super Furries, early Badly Drawn Boy, and the easy listening loops of Lemon Jelly. [Milo McLaughlin]