Album Review: Camera Obscura


Camera Obscura -‘My Maudlin Career.’ (4AD)

This has to be one of my most longed for releases of the year and this does not disappoint one iota. The follow-up to 2006’s Let’s Get Out Of This Country, Camera Obscura’s fourth album is finally here. Recorded once again with Swedish producer Jari Haapalainen in Sweden, it’s another fantastic album from the band responsible for the best album of 2006.

Whilst there are still people who keep comparing them to Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura prove here once and for all that they are standing in no-one else’s shadow and are firing on all cylinders. There’s the familiar touch of malancholy, and even more of a country and soul influence across the album, as a whole. First single ‘French Navy’ was, according to lead singer Tracyanne Campbell a song she wrote for Al Green to sing. I think he’d like it. The title track also features Abba’s grand piano, which is appropriate, as Camera Obscura are one of the few bands who can do sad like Abba could.

In her notes, Tracyanne Campbell talks about the relationship difficulties she’s had that have influenced this album lyrically. But you don’t feel like a voyeur listening in and reading these, rather privileged that she’s sharing it with you. And whilst there is a Camera Obscura ‘sound’ emerging, tracks like ‘James’ show that there are more, new ideas.

Don’t rush the follow-up guys, on this evidence, it’s been worth the wait.


My Maudlin Career is out on April 20 on 4AD.

I’ve posted these before here, but, well, why not?

Camera Obscura -‘French Navy.’

Camera Obscura -‘My Maudlin Career.’ mp3

Camera Obscura website/Camera Obscura myspace

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