Martin Newell - The Off White Album Colored Vinyl LP
Martin Newell The Off White Album Colored Vinyl LP
The title of Martin Newell's second solo album comes from a cheeky riff on the Beatles' White Album: if 1993's critically-acclaimed The Greatest Living Englishman was Newell's Sgt. Pepper's, then it's only right that its demure successor be called The Off White Album.
There's even a little pastiche of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" on "Queen Phyllis Of Colchester" - Newell led the song in with a one-finger piano motif, then asked XTC's Dave Gregory to give him his best impression of Fresh Cream-period Clapton. But that's where the Beatles jokes end; The Off White Album stands on its own, a vivid snapshot of Newell's life with a French chanson-inspired ease.
Sonically, the record contains a Gallic Elan that distinguishes it from Newell's prior work with the Cleaners From Venus. A longtime fan of French music, he sought the same quality on this record - with the vocal riding at the top of the mix, rather than blurred under indie rock guitars, as was common at the time. The record's producer, el Records fixture Louis Philippe, was happy to oblige. The effect is a clarity of both form and content - on "Arcadian Boys," Newell's impassioned voice careens over a heartbreaking string quartet (arranged by Philippe himself) as he wonders what's become of those "too late for the sun."
Despite its more stripped-down sound, The Off White Album was the product of a group effort: in autumn 1994, Newell, bassist Paul Tivy, guest guitar Dave Gregory, drummer Joe Whitehead, keyboard player Philippe, and the aforementioned string quartet piled into a garage studio in Colchester to record the basic rhythm tracks.
Martin Newell The Off White Album Track Listing:
1. Call Me Michael Moonlight
2. The World Of Dandy Leigh
3. Arcadian Boys
4. The Blue Beret
5. Ursula In A Waiting Room
6. When The Damsons Are Down
7. Lions Drunk On Sunlight
8. Miss Van Houten's Coffee Shoppe
9. She Was Never Drowning
10. Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others
11. Queen Phyllis Of Colchester
12. Goodnight Country Girl
13. The Girls In The Flat Upstairs
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