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Review: 'Very Most, The'
'Needs Help'   

-  Label: 'Kocliko Records (CD) / Lost Sound Tapes (Cassette)'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '9th October 2020'

Our Rating:
‘Needs Help’ is the fifth full-length album from indie-pop act The Very Most, and the press blurb explained that it takes its title from the fact that ‘Jeremy, the songwriter/main guy of the band, recorded a bunch of songs that, unbeknownst to him, were outside his vocal range. This required him to recruit a bunch of guest vocalists’, 10 of them in all, as it happens.

If I were to be critical, I might be tempted to question whether he even has any vocal range, but this is an album with lyrics that address ‘everyday anxieties concerning parenthood, faith, fallible memories, internet nonsense, and how hard it is, ultimately, to change your life for the better’. These are universally relatable topic at any time, especially right now, and there’s something comforting in the ordinariness of the scenarios depicted on songs with titles like ‘Her Three-Year Old Laugh or The Time The Microphones Played in My Living Room’, ‘I Live My Boring Dreams’, and ‘Do I Have to Do My Best All the Time?’, the latter of which reinforces the connotations of the title with the reminder that we all need help at some time, and sometimes just need some kind of affirmation.

The fact the twelve songs are in the form of fairly middling, jaunty piano and acoustic guitar indie tunes with twinkly glockenspiel synths and sixties-pop-influenced harmonies means they have an immediate air of familiarity about them. It is winsome, jangly, and at any other time I’d have brushed it off as bland and twee, but in context, it’s still bland and twee but there are some nice tunes nicely arranged and nicely delivered, and if it is largely introspective, kitchen-sink musings, then that’s the limit of the word for most of us right now. Groundedness presented with a sugary, dreamy coating, ‘Needs Help’ blends realism and escapism, and the fact it’s pretty undemanding is a virtue in the relentless wall of mental strain.

  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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