Album Review: My Life Story - 'World Citizen'.
Full disclosure, I’m a fan of this band. But since it’s been a while, 19 years in fact, since they have released a new album, I admit I was wary. No one wants to see a new release spoil such a beautiful musical legacy. But if you’re a My Life Story fan do not despair, dare I say: it’s been worth the wait!
Beyond My Life Story & the children of the Britpop era, if you consider yourself a fan of well- crafted music and clever, quirky lyrics – this album is also for you. Someone recently said to me, ‘how can a band that last recorded 19 years ago be relevant to me?’. The answer is here, on the first play, this album speaks to everyone.
Opener, ‘No Filter’, is the sweetest love song for 2019. Its soaring orchestral score makes the heart burst on each & every listen and welcome the simple warmth & beauty of lyrics like, “ This land is watered by your tears my child and warmed by your smile…”. Jake Shillingford chanting softly , “I’ve found the answer” over the delicate piano at the end might actually be perfection.
To list each highlight of this album would take my words than I have available to me, but other highlights include the single, ‘Taking On The World’. This is one of the tracks with the purest MLS vibe, a hook laden, soaring, banger of an anthem. It’s a blast of sunshine in a fucked-up world, a natural high, a forget-all-your-problems-and-dance track- and is clearly destined to be a live favourite.
Third track, ‘Broken’, is another true MLS tune, with Jake singing, “I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I keep them rolled up for all to see…I’m looking on the bright side, I’m only broken on the inside…”.
Of course, the poignant title of the album is ‘World Citizen’ and as you would hope, the title track is an insanely catchy, uplifting banger and a brilliant example of Jake’s unique lyricism, in fact he took a few recommendations on the band’s Facebook page for place names – and kept it quirky, “its heads you win, and tails I lose, my feet are tired of walking in your shoes, from Wichita to Hồ Chí Minh, looking for truth, I’m a world citizen…a slight of hand, a 5 card trick this land is all our land, from the Bakerloo, to Ko Pha-ngan, I travelled far, I’m a world citizen”. If this song doesn’t make you smile even in these dark times, nothing will.
With music, vocals, lyrics & themes all on-point, ‘World Citizen’ really couldn’t be any better.
The album is out now.
By Florence Katt, On 5th September 2019.
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