DAMN, that was hard work – and a reminder of why I gave up writing feature length album reviews for Stylus a long time ago. So DRAINING, darlings.
But some things simply have to be done, and promoting the new Ayers album to the indie intellectuals of America (even though it can only be ordered on import) was one of them. If it helps nudge the album a fraction closer to getting a proper distribution deal in the US, then the job will have been a good ‘un.
All that aside, the finished piece is as honest an assessment of the album as I was able to give it, grade inflation and all. (Update: link now corrected.)
(If I’d been reviewing The Unfairground in the first week of release, it would have earned a B. If I’d been reviewing it two weeks ago, it would have been a B+. But some things take time, and in any case I’m a firm supporter of the commercially unsustainable concept of only writing album reviews after you’ve lived with them for a couple of months. Which is why I don’t tend to write many album reviews!)