Following in the shabbily glamorous footsteps of fellow Sheffield residents Pulp, the Long Blondes' debut album, Someone to Drive You Home, is a snappy pop album of quintessentially English vignettes about how growing up is hard to do. The quintet, which is fronted by femme fatale vocalist Kate Jackson, will make you fall in love with their girlish innocence, then steal your boyfriend and break your heart. The Long Blondes make it all seem dangerously romantic, but in a coquettish kind of way -- the joys of being a girl have never seemed so lovely or sexy, hence the impure thoughts of "Swallow Tattoo" -- "Give me a good film noir and a bottle of gin." Pulp alumnus Steve Mackey adds the perfect amount of polish to these 12 playful, guitar-driven songs. Just one listen to "Once and Never Again" will make you a believer: its girlish harmonies and cheeky outlook suggest that leaving that guy behind won't hurt too much, after all, "You're only nineteen for God's sake, you don't need a boyfriend." Singles such as "Weekend Without Makeup" and "Giddy Stratospheres," and B-side "Lust in the Movies" arrive in new form, with Jackson growling and cooing alongside Dorian Cox and her jangly, Smiths-like guitars. Meanwhile, their ballads, such as the cinematic "A Knife for the Girls" and "Heaven Help the New Girl" are equally convincing in sound and style. Defining what it means to be in a pop band might prove difficult in 2006, for what is pop music anymore? Lucky for us, the Long Blondes have figured it out for themselves. Someone to Drive You Home is one of those albums that's honest to goodness fun, and pulling it off with as much pastiche as the Long Blondes makes it one of the year's nicest arrivals. Jarvis Cocker and co. would be proud.
AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson