Smile Back At Me review by The Gentlemen

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  • Released: Jul 8, 2006
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.8 (24 votes)
The Gentlemen: Smile Back At Me

Sound — 8
These guys are from Sheffield, UK, same as me, which is how I got into them in the first place. The style varies from straight rock ('Electricity') to piano ballads ('Broken') to funk ('Open Up') and so on. So sound-wise, all good. Good production as well unlike the debuts I'm used to. The musical skills of Sean (guitar), Josh (bass) and Joel (drums) are spot on. In particular songs like 'The Course of True Love', and 'I'm Not Leaving' are superb demonstrations of these guys' remarkable talents.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are as well-written as the music. Sometimes the lyrics ebb over into the trite and are slightly too everyday for my liking, which betrays the subject matter. An example is 'Grateful'. However, apart from those odd occasions the lyrics are sound. Nick, the vocalist, does an excellent job. He adds energy to songs like 'Electricity' and 'My God You Are Beautiful', and tragic passion to poetic lines such as, "Yes, I might feel broken! Yes, I might feel nothing at all, but I'm here, I'm here to stay, if that's okay." 'Broken' is really his standout tune, and his performance on the song is amazing.

Overall Impression — 9
Standout tracks are 'Electricity', 'The Course Of True Love', 'Laurie' and 'My God You Are Beautiful'. The low point if anything is 'Theres No One Like You', but still not a bad track nontheless. A real highlight of this album is doing slow and fast, funk, rock and indie, and doing them all convincingly. The ability to change styles of music and pull them off to great effect adds so much to an album (as in Evanescence, Arctic Monkeys and The Clash's 'London Calling'). This album is no different. The combination of catchy but simple hooks, staccato chords and good old passion is wonderfully effective on 'Smile Back On Me'. Add great musicianship, vocals and lyrics. What have you got? A brilliant debut record. If that isnt enough to convince you, go to their record label's website (Nail The Truth), and listen to the samples. Then buy the album, now, if not sooner. You won't be disappointed.

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