Philip Jeays

Cupid Is a Drunkard

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English singer/songwriter Philip Jeays' second album, Cupid Is a Drunkard, follows painlessly in the footsteps of its predecessor -- beginning with an opening number, the semi-autobiographical "Little Philip," that sounds like it wandered into earshot from the darkest corners of a disreputable bohemian jazz club. Which, as the lyric goes on, was obviously the idea. Armed with a dark wit that brings new meaning to words like "wry" and "sardonic," Jeays and his newfound four-piece backing band charge through a dozen songs, including a couple of reprises from his all-solo first set (rearranged for the occasion, of course) and ranging in scope from a condemnation of war to a whimsical ode to a Seeing Eye dog. Other artists have grabbed for Jacques Brel's throne in the past, and a few -- Scott Walker, Marc Almond, and the early Momus among them -- have come close. Jeays, however, walks boldly up and sits on the thing and, if Cupid Is a Drunkard is anything to go by, he's going to take a lot of shifting.

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