To have the creative desire and skill to write and release ten albums in ten years is impressive enough but to have those ten albums receive critical acclaim is almost unheard of. This is exactly what Croydon-based Nick Frater has done and his latest offering is the enjoyable Aerodrome Hotel.
Ten tracks that are unashamedly posted proudly in the world of pop music and are handled with such control that the songs – and the production, that in inexperienced hands could have failed, due to there being so many layers – hit their mark perfectly.
There have been past comparisons to people like The Beatles (high praise indeed, but makes sense with ‘Dear Modern Times’ chords and backing vocals) but I can also hear the influences of Elton John and 00’s indie/pop band The Feeling (particularly in the guitar riff of ‘Love Heist’) coming through strongly in the piano-led music.
It’s difficult to find anything bad about the album, it’s clever, catchy, well made, beautifully polished and, on this evidence, Frater should be a household name.
Will I listen to this album again? Yes, I will, there is so much going on in the production, added touches that sparkle and deserve repeat listening. I read somewhere that his approach to production is “more is more” but it never feels cramped or jumbled and the songs are allowed to breathe.
Songs like ‘Love Heist’, ‘Stuck in my Ways’, ‘Rough and Tumble’ and ‘Dancing With a Gertrude’ are all radio hits in waiting, but there are also times when the mood drops off and slower songs like ‘No Hard Feelings’ and ‘American Expressways’ take centre stage.
How this artist isn’t on radio playlists is beyond me because if you want grown-up, catchy music that is enjoyable and written by a human instead of sampled by endless algorithms this is it.