Monday, 19 September 2016

Review: Sticky Love Songs (Bubble Gum Orchestra)

"Sticky Love Songs": BGO's most expansive and ambitious release yet
#1,167: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! If "Beyond Time" was Michael Laine Hildebrandt's take on a time travelling concept album a la ELO's '81 classic "Time", then "Sticky Love Songs", his fifth outing with Bubble Gum Orchestra (BGO) is a full bearing of the soul of this Texas based multi-instrumentalist. The angst, the joy, the heartache and the ecstasy of the thing most souls term 'love' down here on Earth is expressed in an amazing array of twenty new BGO songs within this unbelievably good record.

Subtle strings, haunting guitar riffs, inspired vocal arrangements, considered keys and lush lyrics mean that the listener is drawn into a world where forlorn regret is contrasted by uplifting hope in a familiar arena. For starters, hints of Boston pervade "I'm Not The Man", "Hard Nights" and "You Gave Up On Love" whereas "Every Day Of The Week" oozes The Monkees and Davy Jones. One of my fave BGO songs ever has to be the sublime "I'm No Good For You" with its wonderful Beach Boys vibe. "Like A Merry Go Round" is pure Power Pop. There is so much going on here that the decision to divide this classy effort into two virtual volumes is more than justified. Opener "You Called To Tell Me" is absolutely ELOesque emphasising the fact that underpinning this collection of songs is the undoubted influence of the classic production and sound that Jeff Lynne is famed for at ELO's commercial peak.
Michael Laine Hildebrandt: adding more strings to his BGO bow
"Peppermint Smile" is another upbeat track that you can't get out of your head (in a sense) after the first play, another example of top song construction alongside "Firefly's" - with its laid back atmosphere and heavy vocoder content presenting a nice change in tempo. And final song "BGO Motel" is an apt closer too, enticing the listener to hit the repeat button and replay "Sticky Love Songs" all over again. Don't be fooled by the fact that only half of the song titles are quoted within this all too brief review. It's down to just one reason: I've run out of words to adequately sing their praises! They too are sonic pearls awaiting you, there for you to discover yourself.

Yours Truly KJS has had the privilege of playing this record for a few weeks now with the inevitable conclusion that "Sticky Love Songs" is to BGO what "Pet Sounds" is to The Beach Boys"Abbey Road" is to The Beatles and "Out Of The Blue" is to ELO. It's an album which fulfills the concept, potential and ambition of an artiste presenting Bubblegum pop in within an orchestral framework. If The Eagles' "Hotel California" was a place to ultimately escape, then the "BGO Motel" is the place to visit in order to truly experience and feel these "Sticky Love Songs", a soundtrack sometimes of angst and sometimes of hope. Bravo BGO! Bravo MLH! (10/10)
BGO V: Twenty (20) Golden Greats
"Sticky Love Songs" by Bubble Gum Orchestra is released on Tuesday 20th September and can be ordered in CD and/or download format(s) via this link thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Sticky Love Songs" by Bubble Gum Orchestra to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 19-Sep-2016

1 comment:

  1. Hildabrandt might be at his peak of vocal and poetic form on "Sticky Love Songs" in this landscape of what it means to be "in love"we get the twisted side, the playful poetic, and the hurt that comes with all there is to know about love.

    To me it's breathtakingly recorded I still can't believe what BGO is doing on there own right now it's incredible and definitely worth a listen... Nice to hear Doug on the guitars too , and nice work Mr flowers
    Great Job BGO!