Featuring the titular Andrew London on guitar, Nils Olsen on saxophone, clarinet and flute, and Kirsten London on bass, this is an album focused primarily on comedy and satire.
Showcasing London’s witty lyrics and relaxed swinging sound it was recorded at Matrix Digital Studios, produced by Phil Adams and the Trio themselves. The songs were written by London (except for Dumb Me Down by Olsen), and it’s definitely his humour that defines the album.
The obvious reference point is Tim Minchin, who also blends music and comedy, although London is working in a narrower vein, both in musical styles and comedic tone.
There’s blues here, but most of the songs have a sauntering, jazzy swing. Songs like You Don’t Play By The Rules, where the comedy is employed in order to tell a story, work better for me that the out-and-out comedy numbers like Let’s Talk About Me.
The straight country ballad of Emily Bay is refreshingly welcome with its earnestness – especially as it’s immediately followed by My Daughter’s Got a Boyfriend, a tired joke which will only be funny to those over a certain age. (Teenagers are thick… and they wear their pants low!).
The album’s title isn’t a glib one-liner so much as an accurate description of London’s style; expect lots of references to wine drinking and the trappings of mid-life crises. If it sounds like I’m focusing a lot on the lyrics it’s because the album does the same. The vocals are very prominent in the mix, the songs structured around London’s lyrics rather than instrumentation.
There are moments where the musicians are allowed to shine, Olsen’s sax and clarinet have some great solos. All three are sure and capable with their instruments, and the music has a fun bounce to it.
Overall though this is definitely London’s project, and your response to it will very much depend on how your sense of humour relates to his.