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Radio Autumn Attic

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iTunes Review

Having been writing and recording songs for public consumption for more than 30 years, Martin Newell knows what it's like to be a lifer in a fickle industry that doesn't always reward based on merit. Though he's consistently written catchy and endearing '60s-influenced pop songs in the same vein as Robyn Hitchcock, XTC's Andy Partridge, and Guided by Voices' Robert Pollard, he has commandeered the smallest cult of them all. The "Chocks Away" tracks are excepts from his book The Little Ziggy, a memoir of his glam-rock '70s days; they provide a worthy insight into Newell's sense of amusement with his lifelong obsession. Musically, Radio Autumn Attic features the usual joyful sounds in the harmony-rich "Beat Street," the piano bounce of "The Duchess of Leylandia" (where Newell isn't the only one growing older), and the electric Byrds-like jangle of "Life As a Broken Doll." If Newell sounds all the wiser for his years of toil, he also understands this is the life he was destined for. The songs flow from him and reflect his state of mind, like personal letters from an old friend.

Customer Reviews

Almost perfection.

Martin Newell, when he's on, is up there with Ray Davies, Elvis Costello (in his Attractions days), good Andy Partridge and good Robyn Hitchcock. When he's off, he's still pretty good, just not quite as on. Both "on" and "off" Newell can be found on this album, along with a few excerpts from his memoir, THIS LITTLE ZIGGY, which are uproarious. For his personal best, though, THE GREATEST LIVING ENGLISHMAN is the Martin Newell album to get first---then get this one. Trust me.


Born: 1953 in Wivenhoe, Essex, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of the great eccentrics of modern English pop/rock, Martin Newell's songs are recommended listening for anyone who enjoys the peculiarly British eccentricities of Ray Davies, Andy Partridge, Syd Barrett, and the like. His grasp of the pop hook was second to few throughout the 1980s and '90s; his arrangements favor a guitar jangle but are usually infused with a whimsical eclecticism full of goofy sound effects and unusual garnishes of unexpected percussion and string instruments. His voice is...
Full Bio

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Radio Autumn Attic, Martin Newell
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