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'A Different Kind Of Here'   

-  Label: 'Words On Music'
-  Genre: 'Pop' -  Release Date: '19th May 2017'-  Catalogue No: 'WM43'

Our Rating:
The 'Charlie' of the band name is New York lyricist Charlie Mason. He is not wholly Charlie because he only writes the words. For the vocal duties he recruited Dirk Homuth who is from Berlin but sings in perfect accent-free English.

Homuth also plays guitars and other unnamed "embellishing instruments". A bassist, pianist, drummer and a string quartet add other embellishments.

Listeners are advised that Homuth has "an unfailing affinity for tunefulness" and this is effectively demonstrated in twelve gentle, melodic songs.

The orchestrated mellowness has echoes of late period Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Sufyan Stevens and Kings Of Convenience.

The melancholy mood is exemplified in the reflective title track and obvious from song titles like The Sadness Of The Snow That Falls In May and The Loneliness Of Sharks.

A recurring theme of the record is that of feeling isolated even in crowded settings. Waiting expresses a sense of being detached from the daily grind while Robot places this sense of disconnection in a Sci-Fi setting reminiscent of the movie Ex Machina.

Fortunately, Charlie avoids the pitfalls of becoming too introspective or one dimensional. The anti-materialistic Gold ("I'm richer being poor") approaches a serious subject with a light touch and the album closes with the big finale of I'll Still be Missing You complete with unexpected trumpet and electric guitar solos.

The album would benefit with more expansive moments like this but still impresses as a sophisticated collection of baroque pop songs.
  author: Martin Raybould

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ALMOST CHARLIE - A Different Kind Of Here