Paul Heaton - The Cross Eyed Rambler

Introduced as his best work in years, The Cross Eyed Gambler combines American licks and 60s swing rhythms with Heaton’s cynical northern perspective

Album Review by Emma Smith | 07 Jul 2008
  • Paul Heaton
Album title: The Cross Eyed Rambler
Artist: Paul Heaton
Label: Universal
Release date: 7 Jul

Having received relatively little praise or commercial success with his previous solo record, promoted as a side project to parent band The Beautiful South, Paul Heaton’s first proper shot at going it alone since their disbandment may just find him in better favour. The Cross Eyed Rambler, introduced as "his best work in years," combines American alt. country licks and 60’s swing rhythms with Heaton’s cynical northern perspective (already familiar to his followers) resulting in a commendably fresh sounding record, considering his time in the business. Heaton is cheeky though self-aware, particularly on track God Bless Texas where he humorously touches on the politics of the country he seems to be most musically influenced by, painting his impression of locals with Tabasco-sticky hands, sitting on porches "wondering which country to torch next". Light and energetic throughout, The Cross Eyed Rambler is fun for the most part, if perhaps unlikely to make a massive lasting impression in the context of his non-solo repertoire. [Emma Smith]

Paul Heaton plays the Pet Sounds Arena at T in the Park on Sun, 13 Jul