Pocketbooks - Flight Paths
They find themselves unashamedly under the 'twee' banner and that means there are lots of lovely melodies.
Pocketbooks are a sparkling glass of strawberry lemonade, they're a cool breeze on a hot sweaty day, they're raindrops on a windowpane when you're snuggled up inside and they're a small child giggling because the bus is late again. They don't write about war, politics or destruction, they prefer to reference shops, public transport, books and bank holidays. And all of that makes them a charming bunch, devoid of pretence and grandeur, providing a refreshing twinkle of innocent joy on this, their debut album.
They find themselves unashamedly under the 'twee' banner and that means there are lots of lovely melodies, boy/girl vocals and a handsome quota of the feel-good factor. Andy Hudson has the voice of a timorous Ian Broudie, but with a greater degree of blatant charm. He expresses tales of romantic liaisons with such a jocular delivery that help you subscribe to the fact that they are mere acquaintances that help you through life, rather than stumbling blocks to set you back; "the sun shines inappropriately on a crisis" he chirps on 'Sweetness And Light'. Emma Hall's sweet trilling has a direct route back to The Sundays or Popguns, and then on songs like 'Every Good Time We Ever Had' she brings a distinct sixties feel to the overall sound, although we're talking less Dusty Springfield and more Petula Clark here. Hudson and Hall's differing styles blend together well and pretty much alternate on songs here. When they do duet, on 'Cross The Line', there's a bantering expressiveness to it, which can be paralleled to the repartee of The Beautiful South.
The music is predominantly keyboard based, assisting the overall ambience, but there are odd moments of a jumpier jaunt on songs like 'Fleeting Moments', where the rhythm section gets to drive a little faster and the guitar has more of a presence. There is a strong unity in sound from the band though that is neatly orchestrated throughout the album and provides a pleasant degree of diversity, giving an enchanting animated experience that it is impossible to dislike.