'World Citizen': Opulent, Finely Crafted Aural Brilliance
It’s truly gratifying to discover a new band you really like, but perhaps even more pleasurable to stumble upon a band that’s not only new to you, but also has a fabulous back catalogue for you to dive into. This is the case with My Life Story.
Although I understand MLS might be seen as a cult band with a steady and loyal following since the 90's, I must have been living under a rock to have missed such opulent, finely crafted aural brilliance. But as the saying goes, it’s not about where you’re going, but the journey – and the soundtrack to mine just got a whole lot better with their new album 'World Citizen' (released 6th Sept 2019).
The band are back after a whopping 19-year break- a Britpop era band, who perhaps, arguably, should never have been tarred with that brush. Their orchestral wall of sound set them apart, even back then, and so really they deserve a whole new musical category of their own. The string arrangements – which I understand have always been an MLS hallmark work beautifully throughout 'World Citizen'. The songs are hook-laden and celebratory, even when exploring darker themes and the weird fake news, politically messy zeitgeist we are all experiencing at the moment.
The album delivers a salvo of quirkily written, well observed, lovingly crafted, unique pop bangers. And if you wonder how I can say all that in one breath, just imagine how frontman and song writer Jake Shillingford can cram in references to Wichita, Hồ Chí Minh, Ko Pha-ngan and the Bakerloo line, all in one perfect, shiny little pop nugget (‘World Citizen’). There’s a song called ‘Telescope Moonlight Boy’ – whose title is certainly a first (has to be?) , and a 40-piece orchestra, allegedly recorded via Skype…
Think it’s not possible? Roll up folks, roll up and fill the My Life Story shaped hole in your life. How did you miss them all these years? You'll never truly know. Never mind, forget this criminal omission in your musical knowledge and get this album (and their back catalogue). Bask in finely crafted, orchestral, epic pop uniqueness.