JP, Chrissie & The Fairground Boys – “Fidelity” CD Review

Review: Victoria Nugent

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  Fidelity is a very interesting and enjoyable collaboration between Chrissie Hyde of The Pretenders’ fame, and Welsh musician JP Jones. The first song on the album, “Perfect Lover” sums up the musical history of the group, with Hyde singing, “I found my perfect lover, but he’s only half my age.” To elaborate a bit further, Hyde and Jones had a brief relationship which fizzled because of the age difference. Rather than let their chemistry go to waste however, the pair formed a band, setting the story of their relationship to music. A theme of fairs and fairgrounds permeates the album, from the cover art to the conclusion of the word Fairground in several song titles.

“If You Let Me In” is straight forward rocky with hooky, repetitive lyrics and lots of vocal harmonising. “Fairground Luck” has an infectious melody that’s occasionally reminiscent of “Lean On Me” during the verses with strong riffs and Jones’ charismatic vocals carrying the choruses.

“Australia” is a nice little nationalistic ballad love song cross with catchy oohs and sweet lines like “Eyes as blue as yours deserve a symphony”. “Misty Valleys” combines Hyde’s husky vocals with gentle yet layered instrumentation.

“Courage” is an earnest song arguing that a relationship’s end doesn’t negate the importance of the relationship. Plaintive vocals against electric riffs and a solid beat create a eulogy for Jones and Hyde’s broken relationship.

“Leave Me If You Must” sets bitter intense lyrics against a melodic ballad complete with a subtle bluegrass feel. “Your Fairground” kicks things back up a notch with rapid fire vocals from Hyde subtly undercut with harmonies from Jones creating an almost carnival atmosphere. “Never Drink Again” is a beautifully personal break-up song, while “Fidelity” rounds the album on happier note with its cheery melody.

JP, Chrissie and the Fairground Boys have provided an album that is easy to listen to, if slightly lacking in spark. However, the album’s shining moments are often so shocking, that they perhaps need to be encased in uncomplicated songs. Traditional pub rock influences shine through the music, casting a spotlight back to a bygone era of Aussie pop rock.

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  Album Track List:
1. Perfect Lover
2. If You Let Me
3. Fairground Luck
4. Australia
5. Misty Valleys
6. Courage
7. Leave Me If You Must
8. Meanwhile
9. Your Fairground
10. Never Drink Again
11. Fidelity!

More articles by Victoria Nugent:
* Rocketsmiths “The Bones” – Album Review
* Angus and Julia Stone @ The Tivoli, Brisbane – 25 September 2010 with Luluc – Live Review
* Bonfire Nights “Bonfire Nights” EP Review
* Bec Plath “At The End of the Night” – Single Review
* More article by Victoria Nugent