It's a wonderful life
Thursday, 29 October 2015
John Bentley. Based on a true story. (Album review)
John Bentley. Does the name ring a bell? Well he probably most well-known as the bassist of Squeeze from 1979 to 1983.
And he re-joined Squeeze again in 2007 until very recently. So John is a veteran in the music industry. And he has been
very busy using his skills to put his latest album together.
His latest album is based on a true story. No, that is actually the name of the album. It is a very well designed sleeve
available only on vinyl (or can I still say record?) so you get a luxury item that you can enjoy and actually hold in your
hands. The sleeve note on the back is from Squeeze comrade and friend, Chris Difford. John’s sense of humour is all over
this album including five steps in case you have purchased it by mistake. The album comes with a free download and
lyrics sheet for those of you who have embraced the modern genre. But a real lyrics sheet! A lyrics sheet is key to this
album as these songs tell stories. They are all gems in their own right and the production of this album is fantastic. You
can hear the quality in each track.
Listening to the album feels like you are going on a journey of discovery. Each song has its own merits and each
individual will find their own favourites. Kristine is a mix of rock n roll with a funky keyboard. Thief in the night is a
beautiful piano ballad that sounds inspired by Elvis Costello. Quicksand has the most poignant words that give shivers
down your spine. Elvis & Me is an earworm of a song you just can’t stop singing. Closing time is a very brassy classy track
with a jazz feel.
Time to turn the album over to side two. This side starts with I wanna be your slave. It has a great brass section and has a
slight Latino feel. This could be used on Strictly.
Things could only get worse feels like a paranoid hypochondriac with a sense of humour. The lyrics are outstanding. A
mirror cracked still has a slight Squeeze feel about it. But of course everybody is made up from their own experiences.
Psycho fun is almost an instrumental. But everybody must obey. There is no getting away from this. The album ends on
Living in a bubble which is a slow number. ‘I’m feeling rather small. I can squeeze my little world into a ball’. Fantastic
lyrics that really gives the song meaning.
Overall with 14 tracks of sublime storytelling you feel that John has delivered the album of his life. If you like quality music
that moves you – or like me you are very lyrics motivated – this is definitely worth a listen. After all it is based on a true