Almost 13 years after they first hit the Top 5, at the height of Britpop, with the single Alright, the Oxfordshire band are set to release their sixth album, Diamond Hoo Ha (Parlophone, March 24). Their previous albums have followed an intriguing upbeat-sombre-upbeat pattern, yet, with the possible exception of their tired-sounding eponymous third record, the outcome is never less than acute, beautiful, evocative and utterly British pop.
This Road to Rouen standout has everything: dynamic dexetiry, propulsion, heartbreak and hooks galore.
The track that defines them for many. Has a song ever been so carefree?
3 It's Not Me
From their finest album, In It For The Money, a wistful, whimsical wonder.
4 Rush Hour Soul
Scampishly making off with Marc Bolan's legacy, and gettign away with it.
5 Caught By The Fuzz (acoustic)
The B-side version zooms you straight to the heart of the song.
6 St Petersburg
Road to Rouen's yearning, piano-rolling, melancholy masterpiece.
7 You Can See Me
We cheer their impishness; but this captures their overlooked complexity.
album three's opening track - bewildering (is it a Hollywood musical?), but brilliant.
9 Late In The Day
Hammond-flecked pastoralia, showcasing their underrated musicianship.
10 That Old Song
Rocking out on a 2002 B-side.
DC, The Times - 02 March 2008