Sometimes it’s a hook, sometimes it’s a groove, sometimes it is even the album cover itself, this time it was a lyric. “Your empathy is melting, like conversational snow,” that first line alone was the real “you had me at hello” moment for me as the opening salvo of Do, Baby emanated across the room. I am a sucker for a good turn of phrase and so with interest well and truly piqued I settled in for a proper listen.
Do, Baby is an interesting mix of mid-paced, sleek, 70’s infused pop-rock, dexterous finger-style acoustica and some deft and well-wrought blends of the two. And if Conversational Snow is the one to grab you with its confidence and immediacy, it is the more chilled songs such as Throw It All Away where, in my opinion, the really great stuff is happening. Nothing wrong with a gentle rocking out to clear the cobwebs but it is in the gorgeous textures and delicate layering of music in the more considered compositions that Eric Selby really comes into his own.
Part of It sits between the two sonic extremes of the album and has more than a hint of McCartney about it, not so much the Beatles era, but his 70’s Wings heyday, you know, “the band the Beatles could have been”.. and yes, you are meant to laugh at that last quote. The album rounds off with the folky Old Ways, a gorgeous, lilting piece that James Taylor would have been happy to have his name on.
Do, Baby is a lovely collection of deft and delicate music, and more solid structured yet understated rockers, songs which look back slightly nostalgically for inspiration but which stand on their own two feet in the contemporary world too. Good work sir!