The wonderfully quirky London-based quartet that are Cellophane Flowers have finally unveiled their debut album and what an album it is. From their previous releases, we had an idea of what we could expect from Staring at the World: driving, eccentric anthems, sprinkled with an 80’s pop feel. And we certainly get this by the bucketload.
The opening track, ‘Voices’, sets the standard for the rest of the album. It is a catchy, punchy song, whose driving harmonies would not sound out of place on an Arcade Fire record. I think it’s safe to say that the main and most unique selling point about Cellophane Flowers is the remarkable voice that belongs to Francesca Corradini. Her voice is so infectious to listen to, I reckon she could sing just about anything and make it sound appealing. In many inferior albums, Corradini’s voice could probably carry average material. But with Cellophane Flowers, the vocals on offer are a bonus to an already great album.
It is hard to pick a highlight on this album as they’re all worth going back to but I would name ‘Forever Lost’ as a definite one to remember. Brilliantly poignant lyrics, teamed with soaring guitar melodies and a beautifully vulnerable vocal performance from Corradini make this song a little masterpiece.
Staring at the World has been brilliantly mastered by acclaimed producer Dave Allen (The Cure, The Charlatans, Human League) and it’s clear that the band have been heavily influenced by the melancholy sounds of the era Allen had most success in, the 1980s. ‘Tears of a Clown’ would not sound out of place on a Cure album, whilst the upbeat little gem, ‘Pendulum’ harks back to classic songs by The Smiths.
This album is quirky, thoughtful and a lot of fun to listen to. An extremely accomplished group of musicians who take the listener on a journey back in time to when simple, driving melodies sung by an amazing singer were all that was needed to make a great album. If only it was that simple now. Avoid Cellophane Flowers at your peril.
Words: Carly Goodman