Album Reviews

Bill Pritchard

Mother Town Hall

Artist:     Bill Pritchard

Album:     Mother Town Hall

Label:     Tapete

Release Date:     02/26/2016


True Brit pop seems in short supply today, any hints of a new British invasion circumvented by yet another Americana uprising. That said, it’s nice to hear Bill Pritchard carrying on a tradition he began in the early ‘90s and — apart from one sizeable break at the beginning of the millennium — has faithfully maintained ever since. Pritchard crafts the kind of tidy little pop songs once fostered by the likes of David Bowie, Ray Davies, Andy Partridge and Robyn Hitchcock, each chock full of sardonic humor, idyllic observations and, on not so infrequent occasions, a nod and a wink that suggests he’s letting us in on some inside joke. The melodies are borne with an easy sway, while Pritchard’s mildly accented vocals convey both a caress and a croon. These are songs that bring to mind village greens and waterloo sunsets, with tunes like “The Lamplighter,” “Vampire from New York” and “Mont St. Michel” providing a graceful combination of ease and eccentricity. Those in search of immediate hooks need only fast forward to “Lilly Ann,” a track which brings easy comparison to the early Kinks and a supple chorus that simply won’t quit. While Pritchard has yet to achieve any measurable degree of recognition on this side of the ocean, Mother Town Hall is the kind of album that ought to provide a more than  adequate introduction.

– Lee Zimmerman

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