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John Cunningham: 1998-2002

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Editors’ Notes

John Cunningham: 1998-2002 is the reissue of two out-of-print Cunningham albums, 1998’s Homeless House and 2002’s Happy-Go-Unlucky. The British singer-songwriter has never had much commercial luck outside of France, but critics have noted how his acoustic ballads are reminiscent of Robert Wyatt, Talk Talk, Nick Drake, Brian Wilson, Elvis Costello and Martin Phillips of the Chills. Homeless House is an album of quiet desperation; the tunes are virtually whispered. Even when the full band shows up for “Taming the Family,” it’s as if the band is performing in a closet. The sweet piano drip of “What About Now” and the elliptical swoon of “Infinity is Ending” gently segue into Happy-Go-Unlucky where the skipping piano of “Can’t Get Used to This” and the gently finger-picked croon of “It Isn’t Easy” extend Cunningham’s artistic winning streak. “Invisible Lives” could be a tragic summation of Cunningham’s career to date. Hopefully, these reissues will rectify this inexplicable situation. These albums are filled with gentle, touching moments that fans of sweet, introspective pop music will surely one day recognize.

Customer Reviews

Woke up, fell out of bed....

As a huge Beatles fan, I am constantly searching for music that will remind me of that warm feeling I had the first time I listened to Rubber Soul or Sgt. Peppers. While, I am not comparing John Cunnigham's album to either of those, I can definately say that this album stirred in me, that same feeling of comfort and relaxation that those Beatles albums did so long ago.
Don't get me wrong, this is not an artist looking to rehash an old genre to make a buck. This disc is heartfelt and comes off as sincere front to back.
Fuzzy guitar and jumpy basslines are accompanied by bright, subliminal piano and a honey-warm voice that melts the stress from your bones.
A find like this is why I spend countless hours on I-tunes looking for new music.
Well done.

Still fresh

I was organizing my shelves and found an old cassette tape with Homeless House. I got it some 12 years ago and remembered how good it was. Luckily after googling around found out this album was re-released along Happy-go-unlucky. Even today this album still sounds fresh and beautifully well put together. The arrangements are extraordinary, in a style that blends melancholy and happiness at its bests. I can't describe it, but there is something very original in these compositions. Nothing to compare with (please do not compare with the Beatles).


Born: 1969 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England

Genre: Fiction & Literature

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Although John Cunningham is British, he lives and works in France. Like his fellow musical expatriate Bill Pritchard (or for that matter, Prefab Sprout or the High Llamas), Cunningham's elegant brand of pop music owes a certain debt to smooth pre-rock classic pop of the Cole Porter school, mixed with a touch of Bacharach, Wilson, McCartney, and Costello. Unlike those artists, however, Cunningham infuses his music with an almost Nick Drake-like acoustic vibe that suits his delicate yet melodic compositions...
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John Cunningham: 1998-2002, John Cunningham
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