The School Wasting Away And Wondering Elefant Records
Article written by
Ged M - Nov 1, 2015
if you read the song titles, the misery of relationships seems to drip off the sleeve. Listen to the music, though, and it’s the exact opposite: dance moves, romantic grooves, assertive lovers and the excitement and entanglements of youth. The School have made this sort of music for three albums now but it sounds more special this time round, helped by a bigger band and better arrangements. Everything is in the musical mix, from the Northern Soul stomper 'Do I Love You?' to the intense wall-of-sound heartbreaker 'He’s Gonna Break Your Heart One Day' (it's like Shadow Morton has risen from the grave just to produce them). Meanwhile, they throw in reverby guitar and glockenspiel on the 60s Europop of 'Every Day' and add powerfully arranged brass, dramatic strings and pounding piano for ‘Don’t Worry Baby (I Don’t Love You Anymore)’. Complete with Liz’s precious yé-yé voice, it’s a reminder of all the great influences that The School synthesise yet make sound like no-one else but them. Girl groups (Shangri Las, the Ronettes), Dexy’s horned soul music, modpop, Northern Soul and quirky French pop all raise their heads in the magnificent collection. These songs have a danceable edge, too, like the upbeat, brass-laden title track to the melodic, harmonious ‘I Will See You Soon’.
Every song bar the co-write (with Simon Love) is from the pen of Liz and she’s produced a stream of great songs that might be lyrically one-sided but are musically on-the-money, including the perfect three minute single ‘All I Want From You Is Everything’ to the big stomping love song that closes the album ‘My Arms, They Feel Like Nothing’, with its funky guitars, fluting organ and trumpet blasts.
There’s a knowingly retro feel to the record, from the front sleeve inwards, but the songs belie any notion of necrophilia with their lovelorn teenage moodiness and timeless relationship posers in the wording. It’s an album of perfect pop that will make you cry, but for all the right reasons.