Inspired by Tim Byron (www.livejournal.com/users/o_song), I will wank on about my top ten favourite albums of the year in backwards order.
05. The Magic Numbers – The Magic Numbers
So fully formed for a debut. Two sets of siblings, singing in such sweet voices. Oh and the love. Can’t forget the love.
The Magic Numbers was played a lot when I was working at JB Hi Fi. And it was perfect, because in a way it is so bloody middle of the road. Witness the similarity between I See You, You See Me and Don’t Know Much, the soppy but great power ballad performed by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville.
It’s of course, very pop. Very Belle And Sebastian. It’s full of energy, full of spirit, and most importantly, it is the album most this year that fits into my theory that love songs are the first songs you love. As I get older, and slowly the treble, the cheap rhymes, the simple themes are being weeded out for more ‘mature’ music, the Magic Numbers completely make me feel like I’m 17, or maybe even 12.
Let’s look at the evidence in the song titles – Love Me Like You, Love’s A Game, This Love… how long has it been since a band was willing to be so overtly sweet? And that’s how they get across…simply, and sweetly. “She don’t love me like you”, “Darling when I see you, you see me”, “Don’t let the sun be the one to change you, baby”… all nothing lines that can mean everything when you are even feeling the slightest bit emotional, which I often am.
The album doesn’t cover a lot of ground. I’m afraid it will date quite poorly. There are upbeat pop stuff, and some really, really, no, really slow stuff. But that’s not the point. This is one long aching love letter. It’s an audio snapshot of the out of control emotions you feel at 17, when you’re falling out of love every week, and in love every hour. And that part of you is still in there, and will love this album.
I don’t know what else to say about this album. The production, performance, instrumentation, harmonies etc…are all top notch. But it’s the mood and feel of this album that makes it what it is. It also supports another theory, that a song is not finished until it’s heard. The Magic Numbers hit you in the gut or not at all. You can’t take apart the chords and see how it works. You just have to let love in.