Duncan Maitland’s sophomore album “Lullabies for the 21st Century” is a classy collection of modern psychedelia an antidote for the modern bombast of life echoing simpler innocent times. Beatles strings and ELO keys abound throughout joyous choruses and salacious segways.
Stand out track “Horror Stories” is a Beatles bass driven romp drenched in phase and cryptic quips, while “Up to You” emerges from a sombre Trumpet intro building to a melody crescendo of gargantuan proportions before drifting into a space synth solo.”Terry the Toad” is a folk boogie into alternative country rhythms. Its chorus of’everybody’s playing it cool’ is instantly pleasing. “Cry Me to Sleep” is a beautiful ballad heavily influenced by the Beach Boys.
However, to simply cast this album aside as pure homage or pastiche would be highly unfair. For where many have drowned in the shadow of their influences, Maitland excels; like Richard Hawley and Cherry Ghost before him.
“Your Century” features Colin Moulding of seminal 70’s new wave act XTC on bass. Indeed the album is a who’s who of Irish musicians including Rory Doyle (Bell X1. The Walls) Keith Farrell and Tosh Flood (The Duckworth Lewis Method, Pugwash) “Insect Under the Stone” proves without a doubt that Maitland has a world class voice moving from Bobby Darin to full on prog rock in the blink of an eye and back again with great aplomb.
“Lullabies for the 21st Century” is surely one of the most ambitious albums recorded on these shores. Featuring long forgotten sounds and near extinct instruments, it’s refreshing to know in a world of hideous Rn’B good music is still being made.