1. No Fun
3. How Does Your Love
4. Turn Me On
5. New Me And You
6. Be Mine
7. Do What You Want
8. Different Strokes
9. People Let You Down
10. Never Go Home
11. The Dream
Friday 18th October saw the release of “Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold”, the long and eagerly awaited debut album from Declan Welsh And The Decadent West. Following on the heels of last years EP “All My Dreams Are Dull”, the album confirms the arrival of yet another brilliant Scottish band.
The album crashes into life with previous single “No Fun”, a raucous Indie singalong about that person at a party that confirms just why this band is as revered as it is, followed by another single “Absurd” which couples insightful lyrics with a great tune. Indeed, the clever wordplay and killer lines are woven throughout the album from ‘and only you can take me far away from grey skies and Tesco’s’ (“How Does Your Love”) to the classic opening line to “Do What You Want” ‘Well I’ve heard that sexuality, isn’t quite as binary as my Catholic education would have me believe’, a song about how there are no right and wrongs when it comes to love or lust...and proving that you can write a song with a message without making it preachy (many bands should be taking notes here!).
But it’s not all about the wordplay, there are some brilliant songs on this album. From the aforementioned “How Does Your Love”, which has a funky, Disco edge to it, to the achingly beautiful “Be Mine”, the insightfully post break up of “New Me And You”, the lush Indie Pop of “Never Go Home” and the bass driven frenzy of “The Dream” which has writers asking Declan which side he bats for...it’s just brilliant.
If you were to ask me for my favourite track, then it boils down to an impossible choice between two; “People Let You Down”, a song I wish had been written when I was around 13 or 14...it’s stark but at the same time somehow reassuringly uplifting. As far as life advice goes, it’s just about spot on and will be played to Watson Jnr. at the appropriate time...parenting by music - you can’t beat it lol. The second candidate is the hidden track at the end of the album. It starts at around 5:26 and is simply a lush acoustic number of the same heartfelt quality of “Something For Sammy” which ends the Stuffies’ “Construction...” album.
The whole album is full of gems but could be too changeable in style for some people. It’s as if they’ve got all these songs bursting to get out and so, at times, it might feel as if it doesn’t hang together as well as it perhaps could but that’s only a minor criticism.
If you’re yet to discover this Glaswegian songwriter and poet, then “Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold” will make you simultaneously wonder why it took you so long, and kick yourself that it did.
Website - www.declanwelshandthedecadentwest.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/DeclanWelshMusic/
Review - Chris Watson