McFly - Wonderland
There's something endearingly unthreatening about McFly. Four clean living young lads, polite in interviews, surprisingly good live but bereft of laddish exploits. Mothers across the land would gladly approve if any of them took an interest in their daughters. Heck, they event contributed to charidy mate with their Comic Relief single "All About You" which was a McFly original.
Friends of Busted, who McFly were unfairly compared to, their 60s inspired pop rock and cheeky antics made them regulars on Top Of The Pops. New album "Wonderland" will no doubt be a massive success but is it a patch on their well received debut? Well it's a good progression, more mature and ambitious with the boys improving as musicians and songwriters with ease. Even the albums artwork is imaginative and references Alice In Wonderland.
"The Ballad Of Paul K" is lyrically very dark and a departure from the breezy, chirpy, fun filled frolics of "Three Colours In Her Hair". Depth isn't a word that immediately springs to mind when you think about McFly but these lyrics are genuinely affecting. It pulls no punches in it's description of a man's disintegration. It's sweetly sung with harmonizing in the same league as Simon and Garfunkle, but the use of piano, acoustic guitar and general ambience shares much with Crowded House. I just hope it doesn't go over the heads of the teenybopper fans too much.
"I've Got You" is a more typical McFly track with Tom Fletcher's vocal as vibrantly eclectic as ever. Danny Jones' rock guitar playing gives this tight, punchy song an immediacy which will no doubt have the fans dancing when played live on their arena tour. An energetic, optimistic love song which McFly do so well which is strangely re-assuring. "She Falls Asleep (Parts 1 & 2)" has an orchestral arrangement which could come from any high profile West End Musical. It has that grandiose theme you'd associate with such an undertaking. The vocal is soft and sensitive, but the sentiment is laid on a little too thickly for my taste.
"Nothing" is all about the downside of love, a universal theme we can all identify with, especially the lyric "sick of her pathetic explanations". Could this possibly be autobiographical? I think so. The intro is an unadulterated nod to The Who with an unexpected ballad interlude during the middle eight.
On "Wonderland" McFly may have grown up with many string laden tracks, but their knack at rustling up a humm-able, radio friendly pop gem thankfully hasn't left them.
Nicholas Paul Godkin
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