Graham Wright : Shirts vs. Skins

<img src="" alt="Graham Wright : Shirts vs. Skins" />A mixture of different styles with a pop underbelly, it's shift away from Graham Wright's day job with Tokyo Police...
Graham Wright : Shirts vs. Skins
7.6 File Under: Music 

Graham Wright : Shirts vs. Skins Tokyo Police Club (QRO spotlight on) has always been more than a catchy indie-punk band, but also more enjoyable than an indie-punk band.  Still, keyboardist Graham Wright (QRO interview) stretches much farther than that on his solo debut, Shirts vs. Skins.  A mixture of different styles with a pop underbelly, it’s shift away from his day job, but an infectious one that’s impossible not to like.

Admittedly, one of Shirts‘ best tracks, "Soviet Race", is actually rather Tokyo-like, catchy, rocking, and young like the best of TPC.  But it’s challenged for most enjoyable piece on the album by "Leftovers", an upbeat and endearing slacker story.  There are numerous cheery songs like "Leftovers", poppy pieces such as "Heavens Just For Movie Makers", ukelele strum "Something Stupid", or the dancehall smiling kiss-off closer, "No Hard Feelings".  While not the most complex of constructions, and some such as "Chucklefucks" and "Your Heart Is My Heart" are a little too cute, they’re all as welcome as a sunny day.

Wright also goes sad and stripped (like his first foray into solo work, The Lakes of Alberta EP), but relatively eschews going the stereotypical ‘Canadian alt-folk singer/songwriter’ way on the touching "Keys To the Kingdom", while "Canadian Thanksgiving" is almost a country version of Tokyo.  And there are lightweight pieces that get bigger & better, such as back-to-back "Potassium Blast" and "Evening Train From Kingston Station".

Some Tokyo Police Club fans will no doubt find Wright’s Shirts not rocking enough, but it’s well catchy enough to get some sweat stains from dancing.  Other music listeners might consider Skins a little thin, not deep enough, but that’s kind of missing the point.  It’s an enjoyable record that can stand on its own.

MP3 Stream: "Leftovers"

{audio}mp3/files/Graham Wright – Leftovers.mp3{/audio}


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