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Like Comedy

The Proclaimers

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Album Review

The ninth studio album from Craig and Charlie Reid finds the Scottish siblings further settling into their roles as big-hearted family men with a gift for crafting soulful pop songs that are as gloriously catchy as they are unbearably old-fashioned. To be fair, the brothers Reid have never pretended to be anything other than unabashed, heart-on-their-sleeves romantics, but Like Comedy pushes things so far to the sweet end of the confectionary spectrum that even longtime fans may need a salty digestif after devouring its 12 sugary, occasionally mawkish courses. That said, there are always nuggets to be found on a Proclaimers record, and Like Comedy doesn't disappoint, offering up the swinging, spirited opener "Whatever You Got," the rocking, radio-ready "Thought of You," and the gorgeous ballad "After You're Gone," the latter of which almost sounds like the bruised, yet still hopeful older sibling to 1998's "Sunshine on Leith." Sure, the constant barrage of sentimentality can be a bit off-putting, as evidenced by the chorus from the theatrical title cut ("When you lose your appetite for self destruction you can stop viewing life as tragedy/give it a few more years and look from this angle/where it looks more and more like comedy"), but such relentless optimism, especially coming from a band caught in the unforgiving (as far as pop music is concerned) tide pool of middle age, is kind of extraordinary, and ultimately inspiring.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Leith, Scotland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

When the Scottish duo of Craig and Charlie Reid emerged in 1987, they were immediately compared to the Everly Brothers. Considering their energetic, melodic folk-rock, the comparison made some sense, even though the Proclaimers didn't really sound like the Everlys. Instead, the band was a post-punk pop band, aggressively displaying their thick accents on sweet, infectiously melodic songs about love, politics, and life in Scotland. After two albums in the late '80s (This Is the Story [1987], Sunshine...
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Like Comedy, The Proclaimers
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