Those familiar only with The Proclaimers’ hits might be tempted to consider Craig and Charlie Reid as little more than a catchy novelty. But the 50-year-old Scots have the consistent ability to mix lyrical earnestness, romance and cheeky observations with toe-tapping, three-minute melodies of stripped-down pop. Like Comedy’s opener Whatever You’ve Got has all the pub singalong appeal that the duo is known for. The anthemic harmonies and rolling, rhythmic drums continue on tracks like Spinning Around in the Air and Women and Wine; the latter being more a tale of moderation and aging than a rock’n’roll tribute to its subject matter. Some piano-led slower numbers like Simple Things and the closing track A Mix bring down the pair’s otherwise energetic tone and the album suffers for it. However, the agnostic confessional That’s What I Believe somewhat redeems the other down-tempo numbers with a striking balance of simplicity and pathos. Releasing albums every two years for over a decade, The Proclaimers remain prolific thanks to mostly fruitful formula and unaffected musical attitudes.
Words by Jerico Mandybur