Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
Tom Reed 13/09/2010
Back in 2006, Sam Duckworth found himself plastered all over MTV2 with his 'Chronicles Of A Bohemian Teenager' video, and many thought we might have a young exciting new British acoustic troubadour on our hands. The accompanying debut album came armed with a bucketload of energy and plenty of “Baa, ba ba ba baaaa!” choruses, and things looked pretty promising. But second album Searching For The Hows and Whys disappeared into the ether, and this new self-titled record could be a make or break moment for Duckworth.
First single 'Collapsing Cities' features drum n' bass heavyweight Shy FX and sees Duckworth make a few topical political points, comparing his own youth in a bare bones flat to a 5 bedroom house with “barbed wire fences and piles of expenses”. Disappointingly, this message is slapped over a tune that could quite easily have been lifted off that first album, and it's hard to see what Shy FX have brought to the mix.
Sadly, this theme seems to run through much of this new record. It's hard to see much progression from Get Cape's early work, the record full of the same sonic features we've heard from them before - neat acoustic guitar, lightweight breakbeats and horn melodies abound. 'Queen For A Day' starts promisingly, bursting in with Frank Turner-style punch and pace, before a horribly clunky chorus stalls the momentum. There's an unfortunate irony to the chorus lyric too - “I wish we'd paid some more attention to the detail / It's imperative for us to move on” If only Duckworth had applied that maxim to more of the album.
That said, there are some good moments here - mellow opener 'Hand Me Downs' has a composed, reflective feel and 'Where Will You Stand' a lush, blissed-out chorus. The album's other collaboration features African legend Baaba Maal on 'All Of This Is Yours', and provides the real highlight of the album, his ethereal vocal adding an exotic new dimension to the song.
Ultimately, this feels like a missed opportunity for Duckworth. There seems to be a few other singer/songwriters creating more appealing music at the moment - Villagers, Frank Turner and the promise of new music from Sam Beam's Iron and Wine might see Get Cape remain something of an underground hero.
Release date: Out now