The Lemon Twigs – Songs For The General Public

The D'Addario bros. make their wild return...

Brian and Michael D’Addario reconvene for another blast of surrealist glam pop, tearing apart their early 70s reference books for something a little more personal. Recorded between their own Long Island studio, a space in LA, and New York’s history-steeped Electric Lady studio, ‘Songs For The General Public’ is in turns bewildering and heartbreaking, a potent pop statement and a dizzyingly bizarre melodic belch.

A little more focussed – second album ‘Go To School’ was a concept album about a chimpanzee raised as a human boy – than last time out, The Lemon Twigs are in no mood for restraint. Rocking some Sparks-esque melodrama and Rocky Horror theatrics, the album opens in anthemic style, surging into view with the high heel strut of ‘Hell On Wheels’.

A group at their preening, pouncing best, ‘Songs For The General Public’ offers a full 360 view of the D’Addario bros. creativity. Check out the shades of Elton John on piano driven ‘No One Holds You (Closer Than The One You Haven’t Met Yet)’ or the riveting breakneck twists and turns that spew through ‘The One’.

Capable of condensing an entire prog triple LP into a three minute pop song, The Lemon Twigs adopt a cellular approach for ‘Only A Fool’, while the dizzying ‘Why Do Lovers Own Each Other?’ offers a cynical, disconsolate look at failed relationships.

Shades of Todd Rundgren return on the cute ‘Somebody Loving You’, while wisps of Don MacLean’s nostalgia-soaked songwriting linger in the background of the harmonica-flecked ‘Moon’.

That’s not to say that The Lemon Twigs are operating some reference point racket; the reality is, there’s so much going on here that their musical rollercoaster ride leaves us grasping for something – anything – to hold us down. As curiously understated finale ‘Ashamed’ rolls to a close, it’s clear that sometimes you simply have to sit back and enjoy the ride.


Words: Robin Murray

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