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Hovvdy
Heavy Lifter
Sep 08, 2015

Sweet Baboo

Got To Hang On To You
On The Boombox Ballads, Sweet Baboo (aka Stephen Black) wanted to explore more what it was to be a ‘Singer’ as opposed to a ‘Singer Songwriter’, a term – that to him at least – seems to have picked up some negative connotations in recent years. With that in mind, there was a tentative channeling of Harry Nilsson and latter day Scott Walker (‘You Got Me Time Keeping’) in both his songwriting and by working with an arranger (Paul Jones) for the first time who helped him paint the most vivid accompaniments possible. By his own admission, The Boombox Ballads is Sweet Baboo’s naked attempt to emulate his heroes, Nilsson and Dennis Wilson among them. But being a 33-year-old father of one from Trefriw, on the edge of Snowdonia, rather than a drug-addled lunatic from Los Angeles on the edge of sanity, it is driven by his characters, not those of his heroes. Rich with string-laden arrangements, with lyrics culled from personal experience, and resonating with domesticity but imagination too, The Boombox Ballads is Sweet Baboo’s sophisticated pop album: celebratory, a little melancholic, free of cynicism.

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