Babybird Ugly Beautiful
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BabyBird the band is for the better part the brainchild of maverick singer & songwriter and although Ugly Beautiful is by no means his first release it does finally signify a degree of commercial acceptance for a man who had up until this point existed on the fringes of popular music. Jones has a knack of mixing bizarre lyrical word play with a knack for a hook laden song. Ugly Beautiful is an edgy mood laden piece with Jones running the gauntlet of emotions on behalf of the listener. Playfully dabbling with the erotic double entendres on tracks like “Candy Girl” and simultaneously a skewed viewpoint on religion with “Jesus Is My Girlfriend” the album doesn’t always run smoothly, but then I think that was always the writer’s intention. Jones displays a knack for turning his left of centre style into the more accessible on occasion their infectious hook of ‘You’re Gorgeous’ and ‘Cornershop’ both display straight pop sensibilities while retaining his trademark dark edge. Other people have achieved this but BabyBird have proved they can do it in a style all of trier own. It may sound cliched but the album has a distinct English eccentricity about it. At times Jones and the band manage to evoke melancholy not so much through the actual lyrical content but more through the combination of Jones pleading vocal and the distinctive arrangement of the music. Although not as strong as the album that followed it (There’s Something Going On), Ugly Beautiful works well because there is a sense of honesty in the performance. Jones never holds back and certain tracks might prove an uncomfortable listening experience as he bathes his tracks in whatever emotions come to light at the time, often anger can fuel him and when he lands himself in “ranting diatribe” mode it can make for a painful few minutes...but like I said the performance is honest. You may be familiar with the singles that spawned the success of this album (the aforementioned You’re Gorgeous and Cornershop). If you enjoyed these then there is every chance that that you enjoy Ugly Beautiful. However don’t walk into the experience to expect everything to be as commercially accessible as though tracks. Ugly Beautiful has a good selection of tracks that will draw you in immediately, as for the rest. They’ll grow on you as inevitably as nightfall.