Paisley and Charlie – Songs In Black And White

Posted: August 16, 2011 in Reviews
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It was early 2010 when I first witnessed Paisley & Charlie live and I was so impressed with what I heard I searched them up on the internet so I knew a bit more about them.

The story started in 2008 when they first met through an advert that was posted on Gumtree. Now Charlie had his own songs which he posted on his Myspace and therfore posted the advert on Gumtree.

After a string of failures (girl bands, acoustic harmony trios + other projects) the dream was over for Paisley. She was on the verge of giving up music altogether. A browse on the internet saw her come across the advert that Charlie had posted, Paisley answered and the wheels were set in motion. By the time Paisley answered Charlie already had his singer. All he was looking for was a keyboard player. It was after he listened to the demo Paisley sent, that he changed his mind and accepted the keyboard role himself.

Fast forward to early 2011 both Paisley & Charlie find themselves signed to Pebble Records. They have already released their Debut AA Vinyl Julia Misbehaves/ Stone Lions and the debut album Songs In Black And White was released last week. The fact they have their very own album out is rather exciting because I know about the journey they have been on. Both Paisley & Charlie went on to form Detox Cute & The Beauty Junkies and also they created their very own series Pop Trash TV which was uploaded to Youtube.

Songs In Black And White is complete pop perfection and it is nice to hear that the songs have been given the full works. The duo have a host of material so I am guessing it was difficult to cull it down to just 14 songs. The album opened up with the uplifiting and uptempo Radio Days. I really like the vibe given off from this song. This song also has samples of old back and white films. Next it is the AA single back to back. First up we have Julia Misbehaves. This gentle soothing song is very infectious and the melody is brilliant. The recorder also makes an appearence throughout this song. It was then onto the dreamy Stone Lions. This is a beautiful song and you can picture the story behind it. From the lyrics you realise the Stone Lions are the ones in Trafalgar Square. The reins are handed over to Charlie Darling for the next song Sebastian. However this version of the song is the Watercolour Mix. Still the song showcases Darling’s extraordinary vocals plus Paisley also harmonises during the chorus. The song itself is about a girl called Sebastian who from the lyrics has left home “Come home, Come home, Sebastian”. It is a slow pace/ gentle song plus there is a huskiness in Charlie’s vocals which I liked. Hold Me is up next and this is their uptempo disco number. As much as I love every single track on this album Hold Me has to be one of those standout tracks. There is a nice piano introduction at the very beginning of this song. Hold Me is one of those uplifting songs that is fun to sing. In fact you could dance along to this song. This song grabs your attention as soon as it begins. Plus there were very small traces of the way Pet Shop Boys sounded like in the 80s. Prior seeing them at The Lexington I hadn’t heard the song Funny before. After having heard it live and the album version you can make the comparisons. This song has been polished off. Not only have you got the acousticness of the guitar you also have the addition of violins which worked wonders. Back to the song Funny was extremely soft and short with it only consisting of just 3 verses (no chorus). The mid tempo Five Days, One Summer is the next song to feature on this album. This fantastic track had superb lyrics with Paisley taking to the main vocals and Charlie harmonising. You may think Pebble In My Shoe was written after they got signed up. But in fact this song existed before they got a record deal. It is actually very spooky they have a song with Pebble in and they are signed to Pebble Records. This song was soft and gentle. It also features Jim Short on Trumpet and Heather Newton on piano. I hadn’t heard this track prior to this listening to this album but I have come to the conclusion that it’s wonderful. The upbeat steady paced Beautiful Thing is next. This song has got the full works and sounds amzing at the same time. Paisley’s vocals are both dreamy and entrancing at the same time. It actually brings back memories when she dedicated the song to me back at The Wilmington Arms March last year. There was an infusion of different instruments for Stars. Both Pattenden’s and Darling’s vocals gel together perfectly. It is then onto Alarm Bells and this song is really old. By old I am saying it was a Detox Cute And The Beauty Junkies song. Still this song has been tinkered with and sounds amazing. This again is a steady paced song but the lyrics are both strong and sublime. Noises from the fairground feature at the end of this track. European Girl was next. It was sung at a fast pace and at the same time it oozes plenty of energy. Also there was an ode to French films from the samples, and that fitted in with the songs title. The penultimate song being Daydream. Again this was the first time I heard this song. Just like Hold Me, Daydream features the mention of a Teenage Riot which is very topical after the terrible events which have taken place in the UK. That aside this song is gentle and beautiful at the same time. Capping off this extraordinary album was The Last To Know. Just like Funny which appeared earlier on, The Last To Know is comprimises of short verses and no chorus.

TRACKLISTING

Radio Days
Julia Misbehaves
Stone Lions
Sebastian
Hold Me
Funny
Five Days, One Summer
Pebble In My Shoe
Beautiful Thing
Stars
Alarm Bells
European Girl
Daydream
The Last To Know

OVERALL: This debut album is fantastic. It is always a pleasure listening to the music and this is Pop at its best. I really enjoyed Songs In Black And White, there is not a single bad track on this album.

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