Roddy Frame peers out from the cover of Seven Dials looking every one of his 50 years.
Slip the CD into the player, though, and his voice is as fresh and expressive as it was in 1983, when his debut album as Aztec Camera, High Land Hard Rain, announced him to the nation as one of his generation’s greatest talents.
Lovers of that fabled debut will find much to adore on Seven Dials. Postcard, which may even be named after the label which released the teenaged Frame’s first singles, is one such highlight and Into The Sun, a musical kissin’ cousin of We Could Send Letters and Pillar to Post wrapped in a heartbreaking lyric (“I’ve placed my faith in something that I cannot believe in any more”) another.
Elsewhere, we find him in joyously defiant mood (the outstanding In Orbit) and all lovelorn and grown-up (The Other Side, From A Train).
Several plays in, the album reveals itself as being up there with High Land, Hard Rain. Frame fans have waited eight long years for another studio album, but even they could not have expected something as good as this.
Like this? Try these: Aztec Camera: High Land, Hard Rain; Teenage Fanclub: Grand Prix
By Andrew Greenhalgh