Mr Hudson & The Library – A Tale Of Two Cities
Following an impressive support slot on Amy Winehouse’s recent UK tour, many curious eyes will be focussing on this debut from Oxford English literature graduate Mr Hudson and his band.
Those hoping for an accurate representation of the live shows might be in for a slight disappointment. This is a noticeably tamed version of their sound, with much of the liveliness and funkiness reined in. Instead, what we have is an amiable collection of melodic, accessible pop-rock, whose downright politeness sits easy on the ear.
Thanks to the relaxed, conversational, bloke-ish vocals and the light, sparse ska and trip-hop influences, comparisons with Lily Allen, Just Jack, Plan B and The Streets are inevitable. Other influences stretch further back: to Paul Weller, Joe Jackson, Tom Robinson – and, as a reworked version of On The Street Where You Live (from My Fair Lady) demonstrates, to the era of the classic Hollywood movie.
Some distinctive and gorgeous piano work brightens up the sound, but the album’s overall mood remains low key and easy-going, with an increasingly mellow and reflective quality in the second half.