Simple Kid - The Ballad of Elton John / Seratonin
Stephen Bray 25/09/2006
As a teenager who was forced to survive the detritus that the death of Britpop threw up in its death throes, I was always grateful for the brief delights of the Young Offenders and still stand by my belief that 'Pink and Blue' was one of the best singles of that era. When lead singer Ciaran decided to revamp himself as 'Simple Kid', I was similarly impressed. A decent album, good singles and great live performances made him one of my favourites when he first appeared. So, with no discernable success made from his first and second times 'round the block, how's his third attempt sound?
'Elton John' starts off like a late 60s Kinks album track but with rather more profanity. Immediately we can see that Simple Kid hasn't diverted too far from his usual format, for although the sound is more full this time 'round, you can still imagine this working with just a slide guitar and
drum machine. The fuller sound definitely works in his favour, as does the multi-tracking on his voice. It's a good song and well crafted, but it's far from being his best single and it's certainly not going to go far to getting him the sort of recognition that he deserves.
The first seven seconds of Seratonin sound like the start to the most amazing song you'll hear all year, but it soon descends into what sounds more like a B-Side than an A-Side. That said however, it is a bloody good B-Side.
Swirling strings and vocals mix around amongst a heavy drumbeat and some good guitar playing. This really is an excellent track and completes this little package nicely.
There's always been something about Mr. Kid's songs that make them stand out from the crowd, and he's still wielding the same sort of powers here, but it's never going to be mainstream and it's never going to really catch on.
That said, I'm hoping for a few more albums to come yet. Maybe one day he'll write his classic.