If there’s a common theme running through Breaking More Waves albums of 2012 it’s that a number of the records we’ve chosen in the series are flat out nostalgic. Yesterday’s choice Through The Night by Ren Harvieu was one such sepia tinged past-referencing record and today’s selection, the eponymous debut album from Crybaby is another.
It’s easy to criticise these retromantic records but there’s a couple of clear distinctions to be made between recordings that simply imitate and those which are made with a real love and craftsmanship. To criticise great art simply because something similar has been done before is to lose sight of two facts. First, human beings through time have always experienced the same emotions - love, loss, pain, worry, happiness - and that certain ideas will always resonate with those emotions. It's why many of us like tradition. Second that great talent or skill is not easily possessed and should therefore be applauded for its rarity. A lot of innovation is just an excuse for being rubbish.
Crybaby is a perfectly crafted, sometimes melancholy sounding album. Created by Danny Coughlan, a balding, bespectacled Bristol based singer - certainly not the sort of man who looks like he was capable of greatness - it’s a record that manages to pay tribute to the likes of Roy Orbison, Morrissey, Richard Hawley and Phil Spector with its soothing, crooning, majesty. The reason that it hits the spot so well is not because of these reference points though, but quite simply because of the songs. Yes, they may sound eerily familiar, but the melodies, the brooding vocal tones and the never over-indulgent instrumentation makes for a wonderful listen both musically and lyrically. Oh, and I Cherish The Heartbreak More Than The Love That I Lost is our favourite title for a song this year.
“With Crybaby Danny Coughlan has created something utterly flawless. It’s hovering around album of the year territory,” we said back in April. It’s stayed in that land all year and so now it find itself here, in sixth place, on Breaking More Waves albums of the year list.Crybaby - I Cherish The Heartbreak More Than The Love That I Lost (Video)
Crybaby - We're Supposed To Be In Love