Shed Seven – Truth Be Told

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Review by EDF

The fourth album from Shed Seven sees the band with a new line up and hungry of success and recognition along with the likes of Stereophonics and Coldplay. Has their time come? Well, they have given it a good shot with this album.

The first track IF THE MUSIC DON’T MOVE YER is an indication to what the rest of the album will be like and while there are groups like Travis and Coldplay churning out mostly acoustic sounding tunes, instead we have Shed Seven turning the volume up. EYES BEFORE moves along nicely but the next track CRY FOR HELP is one of the standout tracks here. It is also no surprise that this is the first single taken from the album. A real gem and so is the next track, THINKING AGAIN which should also really be released as a single.

Unfortunately, there are a few tracks here that could sound like any other band and are not really that interesting, LAUGHTER LINES and NEVER FELT SO COLD being two of the culprits. While every album usually have a few duff tracks, these in particular are just run of the mill songs that could have been written and recorded on an off day.

Luckily, Shed Seven also have a knack of coming up with something special and one of the other gems here is TO THE WIND. Although it does not have your typical catchy chorus, you would be hard pressed not to get into this particular song straight away. STEP IN SIDE YOUR LOVE is the sort of track you would wish that Noel Gallagher would write.

Overall a good, bordering on great album that should keep the fans happy and convert a few non-believers as well.

4 stars

Review by Kris Griffiths

New line-up. New label. New album. New sound? No chance. Shed Seven enters the new millennium almost exactly where they left off in the last one. The opening power-chord and drum-fill of IF THE MUSIC DON’T MOVE YER gives a big nod to the Sex Pistols, and as the song stomps towards its sing-along chorus, memories of the S.U jukebox come flooding back to the tune of GETTING BETTER. This album from the outset isn’t exactly a giant leap forward from their last offering, LET IT RIDE, but there are signs that the Sheds are very slightly getting better.

Maturity flashes first in the chorus of EYES BEFORE, where a refreshing new usage of harmonies redeems an otherwise plain song. The following CRY FOR HELP is an obvious choice for the first single with its charming melodic blend of organ, piano, strings, and unusually excellent vocals. A finely crafted song. THINKING AGAIN, with its piano-led verses and chorus again soaked in strings, is also melodically pleasing, more so than the subsequent BE MYSELF, where a catchy verse is lost in the chorus’s thick rock riffing. However, the end of this track segues gracefully into one of the album’s finest moments, LAUGHTER LINES. “I thought I’d see the mighty fall and land in my hands,” Rick plaintively sings in this fine ballad, “No need to shout / Time is running out”.

But then there is a sharp downward movement. No Shed Seven album is complete without a few ‘reach for the skip button’ tracks, and they decided on this album to lump them all together. FEATHERS and NEVER FELT SO COLD both sound like soundtrack music to a crap comedy programme, whereas the bouncing LOVE EQUALS is just downright silly: “My love equals your love / yeah your love equals my love”. The final track, STEP INSIDE YOUR LOVE, however, is full of redeeming qualities: an atmospheric electric piano intro, soaring chorus harmonies and a crescendo of crashing cymbals and guitars. Just when the album appears to be fizzling out like a dodgy sparkler, it explodes again like… a dodgy firework. Strangely, Rick’s couplet in this final track pretty much sums up the whole album and his whole band:

“And you might find this strange / But there will be no change”.

4 stars