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Beautiful Life

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Album Review

Shy Nobleman's second album continues to establish him as an able updater of sounds associated with British rock of the 1960s and early '70s, though other influences from the mod, psychedelic, and power pop styles are well in evidence. It's a more straightforward rock- and guitar-oriented effort than his debut album, which made use of more varied instrumentation and influences. It could be that his heaviest debts on Beautiful Life are to the poppier sides of the Who and the Kinks, though Nobleman is rather more incessantly upbeat than Pete Townshend and Ray Davies were, if possessed of a whimsical humor. The tone's set to some degree by "Girlfriend," which on its surface is a fairly typical retro-power pop tune, except for sardonic lyrics noting in passing that it's taken him until the age of 29 to fall in love for the first time, how he hated all the girls in his high school, how he once thought he was gay, and so on. But some other songs can be taken at face value as pretty straightforward happy exclamations, though "Pictures on the Wall" and "Wonderful" go into more melancholy (and certainly Syd Barrett-esque) orchestrated territory, while the quirky melodramatic vocal and arrangement of "Copenhagen" betray a hint of Scott Walker.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Israeli singer/songwriter/keyboardist Shy Nobleman plays diverse psychedelic-style music with strong echoes of various '60s psychedelic subgenres, using strings and brass in addition to standard rock instrumentation....
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Beautiful Life, Shy Nobleman
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