This plucky young comedic musician and songwriter has appeared on Uke Planet before and I suspect will continue to do so with his bold, witty and upbeat releases. As he matures his music is seasoning with him as is evident in this, his second album. By the time Isaac‘s next CD hits my desk however I am going to have to tell myself there must come a point that such a popular and prolific character in the ukulele world I can no longer lazily describe as young.
This nine track album kicks off with Adolescent Syndrome Disorder which informs us the studio quality of this CD is pretty sharp. It courts thoughts of the West End with swirling strings and a crooning voice before that’s thrown out of the proverbial window as the frantic uke strumming kicks in, the tempo scampers on and the lyrics indulge themselves in a fun level of silliness right down to the inclusion of a few bars of Wheatus. Ah yes, we’re in familiar Isaac territory. Further on Oppression carries that same upbeat fun although with a much more politically sensitive topic. And there’s a sign IHD is ripening, his lyrical content this time around stacked with political and social commentary and stance.
The music does however regularly depart from Isaac’s uptempo trademark, Fake Glasses being a Uke Planet favourite, a flurry of piano blues scales with light parodic angst of such things being worn in the name of fashion. “Fake hearing aids” though? Morrissey, Top Of The Pops 1984. Lordy, how pedantic of me! Seriously though, the whole thing is effectively a poem worthy of John Hegley himself, brilliantly performed over a cleverly suitable musical backdrop.
The album draws to a close with the reggae sounds of Reheb, a tongue in cheek homage to the gentrification of his home town and Lamdton Worm, the uke over-driven complete with rock vocals and kazoo solo. It reminds me a little of The Kings Blues.
I could argue that this album is mostly about the lyrics, something that has always being strong in Isaac’s songs. Indeed most of these tracks could be delivered to rapturous applause at a poetry slam of your choice, all with just the right amount of wit and comment. But I actually think the music does add more, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and adds a fun element to soundscape. Isaac is clearly getting better all the time, building on the natural confident comedic spark he was born with and I can see nothing but success for this guy as his career blossoms. This is the best yet but I wager you a groat the next one is even better.