Some say they don’t make them like they used to. And whilst this age old adage may very well be true, sometimes there’s no need to even attempt to make them that way – not when you’re dealing with the genuine article.
Martin Newell has been eloquently described as a glam rock/punk/new wave survivor. He has experienced sights and sounds, the likes of which most of us could only wish to taste. In every sense he’s been there, done it and more than likely written about it beautifully.
His love of ’60s pop ignited his creative fire – a flame that burned its brightest following the early ’70s glam explosion. And once again he’s ready to reveal his latest masterpiece as he returns with The Cleaners From Venus and a brand new album which has his unique stamp (and that of The Cleaners) all over it.
Return To Bohemia is a twelve track collection which is jam-packed with all the colour and diversity you’d expect from an artist with five decades worth of magic oozing from his portfolio. Delivered in full colour, it flows with all the grace your preconceptions will be expecting – a cacophony of light and sound which will immerse your every sense and leave you in that state of almost euphoric reminisce.
But make no mistake, whilst this is an album which could easily be plucked from a glorious bygone era, it carries no hint of the dreaded throwback. Indeed, as you wade expectantly into the opening throws of the record it’s worth noting that Newell is in fact England’s most published living poet, no less. With this in mind, Return To Bohemia will transfix you in a state of intrepid exploration.
Two tracks in particular highlight the aforementioned diversity.
He’s Goin’ Out With Marilyn has a flow and feeling which is magically authentic – in terms of tone and tempo it’s a sound which could easily have been plucked from the manic ’60s and a time when real bands wore suits. The song is an uptempo reflection of glorious colour – in every sense the classic head-nodding foot tapper which would be right at home during the golden, early Beatles era.
Imaginary Seas is an exploration of Newell’s poetic side – a swirling dream-like delivery as he flexes his creative muscle. The song is a demonstration of diversity if ever there was one. Indeed, the track almost feels like a slight genre change as the album meanders along – as though we’ve ventured into the wonderfully harmonic and joyful ‘Ziggy’ territory. A bold statement perhaps, but this track is every bit as spellbinding as was its intention.
Return To Bohemia is not the recreation of a sound – it’s the authentic, original sound, carried from a time when creativity was unshackled. It’s a wonderfully summary mix to be enjoyed on lazy days relaxing in the park.
We all have a soft spot for alternative pop, and that is exactly where this album, indeed this artist fully belong. From humble beginnings, recording in his kitchen on days off, Martin Newell and The Cleaners From Venus have scaled the heights. Return To Bohemia, the latest brain child of Newell’s creative mastermind is available from July 7th through Soft Bodies Records.