The 11 songs on Promising Boyfriend were recorded between 1997 and 1999, while Tim Best was also the leader of a short-lived trio called Hispana Tim; somewhat confusingly, their sole album, Viva!, was released almost concurrently with this album. The division by nomenclature makes perfect sense, however. While Hispana Tim continued the genial indie pop of Best's earlier band Girl of the World, the songs on Promising Boyfriend are both darker and spikier, with more varied arrangements that branch out from the naïve guitar pop of his other bands. Touches like the threatening organs that underpin the closing "Star Guide" and the mariachi horns on "A Quick One" (not the Who's mini-opera) would have sounded out of place on Best's earlier records, but here, they add to the maturity and complexity of his best batch of songs.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason