‘Walk The River’ (Geffen)
Sprawling, attentionspan-extending epics! Wounded-eyed shoegazey sketching! And are those… bagpipes? It hardly sounds like the sort of album that Fyfe Dangerfield, transformed into a Pop Star Proper by the power of a John Lewis ad, ought to be making, does it? And yet ‘Walk The River’ is defiantly sky-punching stuff, chipping away at its own corner of neoclassicism between latter-day Pulp and late-80s Tears For Fears and displaying not only an excess of soaring Dangerfield vocals but also plenty of roaring guitars (especially on the ace ‘Ice Room’) and deftly-exploring haunt-pop suss (‘Vermillion’). Who knew they’d have this in store?