Reliever – Edenhill (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Pop music is not known for having hidden depths. In fact, most three-minute groovers with their sights set on assailing the pop charts would be lucky to boast hidden shallows. But the ability to write poised and purposeful pop, songs which are both fun and throw-away yet which are so meaningful and relevant to the listener that they want to hold them tight forever, is what sets apart the real song-crafters from the fly-by-night chancers.

Reliever is a deceptive song, one which easily tells you which of those two camps Edenhill belongs in. Whilst firing off infectious lyrical salvos, vocal deliveries which mesh with the song in an almost instrumental way, Reliever discusses the idea of love and escapism. “Is this love?” it asks, musing on the idea that sometimes we can find ourselves not so much in love with a person, more in love with being in love, high on the emotion and the adrenaline rush which we get from such a feeling.

And it delivers those ideas through a perfectly poised pop vehicle, a self-fulfilling prophecy which almost wills the listener to fall for its musical charms and ironically missing the more philosophical content of the lyrics. Oh, the irony! But whilst you are trying to get your head around the songs wonderful contradictions, you are presented with whip-sharp guitar riffs, industrial-strength dance floor grooves and a contagion factor which goes up to eleven.

Pop has always been fun, infectious and accessible. Reliever is proof that it can also be deep, thoughtful and questioning. Now that has to be unexpectedly good value for your pop pound.

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