Big Bam Boo

Fun, Faith & Fairplay

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Like a more soul-pop-inflected version of the Proclaimers (complete with similar hair and glasses), the British vocal duo Big Bam Boo delivers an effortlessly slick album of catchy tunes mixing acoustic guitars and MIDI synthesizers in a way that in retrospect sounds awfully dated (any listener will automatically recognize that this album was recorded in 1987) but is still oddly appealing. Simon Tedd and Shark (yep, just Shark) have a great vocal blend, and their songs recall both Edwyn Collins and Aztec Camera, with a dash of Tin Tin-era Stephen Duffy. The opening "Fell Off a Mountain" and the propulsive "What's Bigger Than Life" are particular highlights, but the whole album has an easy, glib charm. Guests include the Pooh Sticks' Steve Gregory and the Katydids' Susie Hug and Adam Seymour, who contribute to the creamy-smooth vocal harmonies that are this album's distinguishing sonic characteristic. Utterly disposable but completely charming, Fun, Faith & Fairplay is a frothy pop gem for those who don't mind a little substance-free ear candy.

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