55 Helping Hands by Butcher Boy 2011
Another one that is probably a tad too high , but it gets extra points for the fact that when Butcher Boy's 3 lps came along I was in a place when all the lps I was buying seemd to be by people that I already owned stuff by.
I first got into Butcher boy down to lazy comparisons to Belle and Sebastian but although there is a winsome similarity in their writing the bands for me are poles apart. The poetic lyrics are less straight story telling than Belle and Sebastian whereas the backing is less pop and has a slightly classical feel. The whole thing can feel a tad studied at times , but the pure romance of the cello , guitars , violins and piano stops it being too clever or cloying
By Helping Hands they had really hit their stride, the arrangements are spot on, in places breath takingly beautiful and John Blain Hunt seems more confident as a singer rather than a vocalist. The part talk part sing approach for me fits the poetry structure of the lyrics (although I can see this dividing opinion). There are some lovely images in there "bubble gum smiles" and with the 3rd lp there is a more tradtiional pop element to the songs structure and as a result the melodies linger longer.
A tad twee for some but for me an achingly beautiful sound
You can buy Helping Hands here