Album Review : The Duckworth Lewis Method - the Duckworth Lewis Method*****
It's an Ashes summer, and what could be better to accompany the live action than a cricket themed prog pop rock album produced by two Irish cricket fans ?
I am not familiar with the work of Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy or Thomas Walsh of Pugwash, but this pairing has made for a wonderful, delightfully quirky concept album with great songs and esoteric and charming lyrics.
The musical style is very light chamber pop or modern baroque with gorgeously layered floating vocals, as befits the subject matter, many of the songs have a somewhat Victorian feel to them, both in musical style and lyrical content.
There is a rick seam of humour throughout the album, from The Sweet Spot which might be about hitting the ball from the centre of the bat, or it might be about cunnilingus, through Meeting Mr. Miandad which is just wonderfully eccentric ("when we get to Pakistan, In a VW campervan"), and of course the piece de resistance, Jiggery Pokery, a hilarious ode to the ball of the century (Jiggery pokery, Aussie skulduggery, out for a buggering duck !) which ends with the line "I hate Shane Warne".
The Nightwatchman sums up the hopes and fears of that most noble and unfortunate member of the cricket brethren, the lyrics again manage a wonderful double meaning, this is either the yearning of a low order batsman to be able to retake the crease the next morning, or it is a plaintive and forlorn love song, it is superb either way.
The Duckworth Lewis Method is a wonderful digest of cricketing life and its oddities, the music and vocals are beautiful and charming, would it appeal to non cricket fans ? I don't see why not, the but avid cricket lover is going to get more out of it, recognising all the whimsy and appreciating it. Well done chaps, a concept album about cricket might easily have been rubbish, but Hannon and Walsh have produced a sublime and enticing collection of odes to the sport that they so clearly love.