BY JOHN B. MOORE
Roddy Frame quiets things down a bit on Seven Dials, his fourth and strongest solo efforts to date. It’s right up there with some of his decades-old work fronting Aztec Camera. It should be noted, however, that the record is a slow built; one that will likely take a few listens to finally grab the listener. But when it does take hold, these songs are hard to shake loose.
The slower tempo tracks like “Rear View Mirror” and “English Garden” are more difficult to warm up to, but Frame’s knack for writing beautiful and perfectly succinct lyrics keep the album from dragging down. Songs like the album opener, “White Pony” (which sounds like a long-forgotten Harry Nilsson tune) or the infectious title track, which could have come straight off of Aztec Camera’s brilliant debut, help make Seven Dials a truly compelling record.
The only thing missing from Frame’s latest is a sticker on front asking for the listener’s patience. Those who stick with it will be glad they did.
DOWNLOAD: “White Pony,” Into the Sun” and “Forty Days of Rain”