Brave Captain

Advertisements for Myself

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With Advertisements for Myself, Martin Carr steers his Brave Captain project firmly away from the 1960s psychedelia of his earlier albums and back toward the over-the-top fuzz pop of his former band the Boo Radleys. Fans of the Boo Radleys should be beside themselves with pleasure, as "Stand Up and Fight," "I Was a Teenage Death Squad," "This Weight That You Have Found," "Betsi's Beads," "Mobilise," and "My Mind Pictures" are every bit as charming and as stormingly melodic as anything in Carr's back catalog. During these sprightly numbers, Carr returns to the mix of horns, acoustic guitars, fuzzy sound effects, catchy hooks, and emotional choruses that were the Boo Radleys' bread and butter. When Carr is firing on all cylinders here, he comes across like a mad hybrid of Ian Brown, the Charlatans UK, and surprisingly, the Pet Shop Boys. While Advertisements for Myself is by no means a glam techno affair, its pulse is decidedly electronic, and sometimes it's not a good thing. Carr litters the otherwise superb album with a number of juvenile IDM tracks that serve little purpose other than to jar a listener away from the pop gems. When the beats mingle with other instruments and with Carr's voice, the effect is really quite magical, especially on the crunchy, off-kilter gem "Betsi's Beads." Those looking for a continuation of the jagged Fingertip Sessions will be satiated by the album's lo-fi textures and otherworldly glisten, but this one stomps all over earlier Brave Captain albums and returns Carr to the lo-fi power pop at which he excels.

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