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Broken Toys

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Customer Reviews

Their best yet!

After passing the difficult second album stage with flying colours - with 2011’s Eccentric Audio - north east duo Smoove & Turrell reach album three. Recording started shortly after a support slot for Chic and around the time Daft Punk scored a number one with Get Lucky. That there’s a Nile Rodgers influence on this album is undeniable.

Opener Have Love kicks off with the same brand of funky guitar that Rodgers made his trademark and has all the hallmarks of a slick Quincy Jones joint from the late seventies and early eighties. If this tune had the support Get Lucky did it would be number one for sure - a definite single.

It’s followed closely by another stand out track, Will You Be Mine. Here it’s all about keyboardist Mike Porter delivering the most infectious hook ever, courtesy of a vintage Roland Jupiter 4 synth - a similar sound to that used on Save A Prayer by Duran Duran!

Lay It On Me was the first single. It was premiered live in 2009 and was the first track written for the album. That it’s the closest in sound to the previous album is therefore no surprise. A distant cousin to Hard Work, one of the band’s best known tracks.

Another highlight is People Keep Talking, again a potential contender for a single (there are so many on this album). It has a real bluesy edge to it, similar to that found on John Turrell’s excellent debut solo album The Kingmaker, but it’s a gritty, dirty funk track at its core.

Always is the album’s sole ballad. Andy Champion, the band’s bassist, was the creative force behind this one. Here it’s all about John Turrell’s vocal - and what a voice!

I Just Want More is a track I instantly fell in love with. It’s pure disco funk. The lyrics are great - all about working hard yet never having enough money. It was the flipside to the Lay It On Me single but it’s perfect counterpart - subject-wise, anyway - is the fantastic Broke from the previous album.

The Clown is a cover version. But here John Turrell is covering his own song. It’s a good old fashioned soul stomper recorded by his previous band The Stevies which has been given a modern update with Smoove’s impressive production skills.

Title track Broken Toys is stunning. It would fit nicely on a Massive Attack album. Andy Champion’s double bass underpins John Turrell’s vocal, with some excellent flute work from King Bee’s Dave Wilde. Gilles Peterson played this on his show earlier this year - and when you hear it you’ll see why. It’s about a subject close to John Turrell’s heart - the manner in which seriously injured troops returning from conflict are almost discarded, like broken toys.

One Woman Army is a blatant dig at WAG culture - and one WAG in particular who’s described as a ‘one woman army of Gucci and Armani’. Again, funk is the order of the day.

Closer Now Or Never is like nothing Smoove & Turrell have ever done. It’s a big drunken singalong pub song that sounds like something The Pogues would record. Trust me, you’ll love it!

Overall, a massively enjoyable album and one i’ve listened to over and over. Where the previous two albums were more sample-based, this one’s very much a band effort and it’s absolutely stunning.

I’m a big fan and I hope this album does the business and the band gets the recognition and success it so richly deserves.

Another Belter

We have played the 2 previous albums so much in the shop I run in Lincoln and we never get bored of hearing them and this has the same awesome vibe. Love it! Hopefully we get some BBQ weather soon too and this will go down a smash. Well done lads keep the tracks coming!

El vez

Funkin but it! Sun glasses required!!

Broken Toys, Smoove & Turrell
View In iTunes

Customer Ratings