DANIEL RACHEL 'DEAR FRIEND'(Dust)
We could gush for hours about this second release from Daniel Rachel and still wouldnt be able to summon up the right words to do it justice. Responsible for without doubt one of the sweetest records we had the fortune of hearing last year in the debut single Burned by the Wire which over spilled with all manner of colourful references to Dylan, Springsteen and Wylie (probably the first and last time youll ever see these three names together in one sentence).
It was a release that hinted at special things to come and on this new two track single Rachel hasnt betrayed the faith we placed upon him. Literally having just taken delivery we were tempted to shelve it until the next Singled Out missive but so good it is we were busting at the seams to spread the word.
The spirit of George Harrison breezes lovingly throughout the reflective landscape of Dear Friend toeing by the hand the memories of Tilbrook and Diffords finest moments to venture upon the pastures of the Beatles Revolver. A delicate yet articulately colourful composition acoustically delivered where regret, hope, fondness and sadness all vie for centre stage and blessed with juxtaposing moods born from hooks that one minute soar skywards only to tumble magnificently into a melancholic descent a la Eleanor Rigby.
Flip over for the bitterly sarcastic An Englishman Abroad, which in our humble opinion just edges the lead cut. Fans of classic Robyn Hitchcock will lap this up, the irony of the xenophobic disease that we Brits hold dear to our hearts without even realising it is all to evident. That whole mentality about going to a restaurant offering French cuisine and then sitting there sulking because they dont do Eggs and Chips, none of that flag waving nonsense like that pitifully executed by Morrissey from the safety of his LA confines. Eccentric and woundingly observant like only Hitchcock and Ray Davies could ever be and fitted out within an irresistibly catchy melody that dips between Soft Boys type psychedelia as though tripped out with terrace charged soft glam, irrefutably English in an XTC kind of way.
Essential and we hasten to add, simply perfect. www.danielrachel.com