Geoffrey O'Connor

Fan Fiction

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Geoffrey O'Connor's second solo album, Fan Fiction, follows in the sleek and shiny, satin and neon-bedecked footsteps of his debut. Wrapping his tender melodies and vocals in all manner of snappy drum machines, swooping synths, humming vocoders, and sweeping backing vocals, he's like a modern-day Paddy McAloon with no budget concerns or a Bryan Ferry with no collaborators messing things up. It's a nifty bit of '80s necromancy that treats the corpse with delicate care, making sure to restore all the vital parts in original working order. Songs like "Jacqueline" and "My Greatest Hit" are the kind of cinematic ballads that beg to be sung by the underdog as he pines for the unattainable boy/girl of his/her dreams, "Never Have You Looked So Good" and "Another Time" slink and bop in ways that would make them no-brainers on an '80s dance night, and smooth operators "Her Name on Every Tongue" and "Centre of the Room" are the kind of tracks one can picture Simon LeBon putting on his turntable when he wants to create just the right mood. Fan Fiction may not have a single original bone or fresh drop of blood in its body, but it does the revival thing with panache and grace. Enough of each that you could spin any song here next to the song or style that inspired it and O'Connor's effort would come off exceedingly well. That's really the best-case scenario for any record that lifts from the past as completely, and expertly, as this one does.

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