TV Smith – I Delete
Album number 16 from the former Adverts frontman, this time pushing his well-worn pen through themes of techno-skepticism, social fragmentation and the mindless repetition of existence. “How come everything I say / Is on replay?” he ponders, delving through the folk-tinged waters of acoustic punk rock with an elder statesmanlike sense of world-weariness. Musically, it’s all rather meat-and-potatoes, albeit with a dramatic flair that’s at times reminiscent of Springsteen-indebted punks like Brian Fallon or Chuck Ragan.
In any case, the lyrics are the real reason to tune in, with London Hum providing an agreeable (if not particularly subtle) metaphor for unrest amid a drab urban backdrop. Special attention goes to bonus track The Rock’n’Roll, where Smith mourns his lack of faith in his chosen art form. Tempting though it is to sniff disappointedly at this attitude, it’s no dismissal of rock’s transformative potential, just the inappropriateness of demanding societal betterment from such hedonistic, inward-looking pursuits – a higher state of conscience. [Will Fitzpatrick]