I have to start by admitting that I only owned one of the songs on this best of Kimberley Rew and Lee Cave-Berry and that's quite a failing on my part, as I really should have owned a lot more of the albums this best of is compiled from.
This is the sort of Best of that avoids all the hits Kimberley has had including the song he won the Eurovision Song Contest with for the UK. His work with the Soft Boys, Katrina & The Waves and that hit The Bangles had with one of his songs and concentrates on his solo albums with Lee Cave-Berry.
The backing musicians are a stellar line-up including Mitch Easter, Peter Holsapple, Glenn Tillbroook, Will Rigby, Robyn Hitchcock, Morris Windsor and the recently departed Matthew Seligman etc.
The album opens with The Dog Song from Miles Of Smiles that's a great pub-rock song about well what Dogs do and don't do, with the first of many cracking guitar solos on the album and in keeping with some of the best solo's, it's very economical on a song that's easy to get down and boogie too while I try to figure out which Nikki Sudden song it reminds me of.
It Makes Me Happy has lead vocals from Lee whose vocals are nice and rich and not that far from Katrina Leskanich in places and this is the sort of upbeat garage rock tune that gets deep into your head and you'll end up with the chorus stuck in your head while marveling at just how great the guitar playing is on this.
Bloody Old England has a bit of a musical hall feel to it while also sounding like they have re-worked one of the songs from Bugsy Malone, while they have a bit of a moan at several of England's normal problems, it's wry and once the kazoo comes in has hints of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.
Backing Singer Blues is Lee telling us what it's like to have been a backing Singer and Bass player over the years and it's a lot of fun hearing her step into the spotlight while ripping along.
The End Of Our Rainbow is a good plaintive love song that has a very 60's feel to it like Manfred Mann while sounding like if you added a brass section it would easily work in an oompah style.
English Road is played at a pace far faster than is possible on most of English roads I drive on, as this cracking drive time power pop anthem careens down the A11 or a similar road while name checking one of The Members hits.
The Safest Place is a gentle statement of love and affection and has Kimberley telling his love that she really is safest when she's with him aaah.
I have loved there version of All I Want For Christmas Is You since it appeared on Wishing You A Sartorial Christmas, as they make it into a great sing along party rocker that should be on loads of Christmas playlists.
Yours Truly is a cool bangles style powerpop statement of love coupled with some wicked guitar lines and steady as you like bass.
Hey War Pig is as angry and hectoring as the War Pigs deserve for all the destruction and death they wrought and it comes from the angle of angry parents who can't believe their Kid has died in another pointless war. I'm always happy to have more great Anti war songs, this is one well worth hearing and playing repeatedly to any War Pigs you know.
They then get down and funky on Some Days You Eat The Bear that sounds like something you might do in a certain kind of freaky club, with a guitar solo that sounds like the ecstasy you might feel from Eating The Bear, this is also the first song on the album that I could imagine with a full on dance re-mix to get freaky too.
Purple Pyjamas has Hi-Life style guitars as they try to get their kids to put on their Purple Pyjamas and go to bed, well a tune like this will have the opposite effect and have them dancing around the room like they have the biggest sugar buzz ever.
Stomping All Over The World is a smart Power pop tune about wanting to be back home from tour to be with his blue eyed girl once more.
Happy Anniversary is a sweet celebration of Kimberley's love for Lee it's gentle and reminds me a bit of Van Morrison it's a lovely song to play to the one you love on that special day.
Flat Cat is a rockabilly tune that's not about seeing a Flat Cat on the motorway, but is seemingly about how the cat that lives in there flat does what he or she likes while sounding like it should be a long lost song by Restless or The Polecats.
My Baby Does Her Hairdo Long could be a dance craze single that reworks Tommy James' The Hanky Panky to cool effect as Kimberley tells us how he prefers long haired women and he won't hear an argument from me there.
Flower Superpower is a sort of Blaxploitation up across 110th Street laid back ode to Flower Superpowers with some almost Hendrixesque guitar over a deep bass rumble and hi hat backing.
They do a very Troggs like cover of I Want You with great garage rock guitars and that stomping beat you need on this sort of song, the freak out bit sounds dirty distorted and magnificent.
Restless Ocean is gentle Indie-pop in the Prefab Sprout style but with some stunning guitars lifting it up somewhat no matter how laid back it still feels.
She's Still Got It is a cool tune about still having it with a partner who is no longer under 30 or whatever the age we are meant to stop wanting or having it or being attractive is meant to be.
The album closes with Simple Pleasures and the easiest thing to say at this point is that this album is indeed one of those Simple Pleasures that should he heard over and over again and again. Oh and yes it's a cool powerpop song with it's own ideas on what those simple Pleasures should be.
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