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EP Review: Jeremy Neale 'Let Me Go Out In Style'

You might have thought I was gone but Unofficial Jeremy Neale Correspondent is a lifetime commitment and one that I intend to honor. So, I’m back baby! And ready to get to the bottom of the Neale-mister’s latest offering Let Me Go Out In Style.

After two years of waiting (with only sporadic single releases to keep our Nealaria at bay) one could be forgiven in thinking that Jeremy has fallen deep into the luxurious hole of 80’s indulgence. The singles that we’ve been drip fed over the last 18 months have been more sharp synths than the fuzzy hooks that we got on his last release, 2013’s In Stranger Times. Separate the songs sound a little disconnected, left floating in an air of undefined genre. It’s with a very relieved sigh that I tell you that while separate they might sound a bit discombobulated string six of them together on an EP, slap a photo of Jnealz on the front doing his best ‘rebel without a cause’ and you got yourself one fine collection of music.

Lead single The News has been floating around since late 2014 and I maintain that it is one of the best songs Neale has ever released. It was definitely a dive in the deep end stylistically with swooping synths and a very Phil Collins-esq drum break being the defining features. It has this energy that’s both frantic and lamenting thanks in part to Neale’s desperate vocals. It’s the type of song that you could both dance to and pine after someone too. This is coming from someone who has definitely done both.

Title track Let Me Go Out In Style sneaks up on you with its persistent bassline. It’s a darker sound that what we’re used to, in the same vain as previous single Swing Left. Neale’s lower register gives the song a brooding edge which makes sense because the guitar solo is the exact soundtrack you want when you’re melancholy and thinking about all the hard decisions you have yet to make.

Brightness comes in the form of Danger as we start to edge towards Paul Simon territory. It’s a bouncy type of track that you’d kick your battered hi-top chucks up to. It’s uncluttered, totally enjoyable and , by gum, if that opening riff doesn’t make you wish you were watching a John Hughes film.

Bongo’s usher in Lifespans (If You Ask It) with Neale’s breathy vocals setting up the tone for this unsettling seductive track. The bongos aren’t lonely though with some choice tambourine, egg shaker and wind chimes. This is one for all you percussion lovers out there.

Out of the remaining tracks Hold On Together is the signature ballad and while I congratulate it for finally combining the powers of flamenco guitar and saxophone it edges towards sickly sweet. Latest single The Love Calling also almost edges into this category but makes a swift save with stronger harmonies.

All in all the track listing is what makes Let Me Go Out In Style, it’s a journey from start to finish brushed with just enough 80’s exuberance to keep it from becoming a novelty. If In Stranger Times is your year eight crush that you played tiggy and made daisy chains with then Let Me Go Out In Style is that cool senior you were sweet on that smoked and wagged a lot but still had a heart of gold. Overblown similes aside this is one sparkling EP, Jeremy Neale you gone done it again.

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