It can’t be easy being the drummer in Radiohead, especially when releasing a solo album and hoping to be taken seriously. So, four years on from his eventual debut solo outing comes Philip Selway’s follow-up, Weatherhouse. It might not even help that the heroic Thom Yorke so recently dropped another surprise release (his second solo outing too) on everyone from out of nowhere. Taken for what it is though, this is worthy of its release and of any attention that comes its way.
It isn’t too close to Radiohead. It is delicate and occupies another space, but there are some lovely moments across the ten tracks and Selway holds his own impressively. He doesn’t so much emerge from the shadow of his band, or even attempt to (knowing such a move would fail), he remains true, staying in its unfathomably giant shadow and he makes music there, where he actually only adds to the oevre of what Radiohead means. It’s not just one guy and never has been, Radiohead is a band full of incredible musicians, ideas, let’s face it… an entire universe.
‘Ghosts’ echoes his band more than anything else, but is somehow beautiful in its own right. It’s a magical moment of the album, and by this midway stage you realise he certainly has a charm of his own to offer, whether it was expected or not.
Selway’s voice is not going to light up anyone’s world, but it isn’t about that, it’s about how much he can achieve from his own songs given a limited range, and he is incredibly astute and able at presenting some beautiful tracks here. It’s actually a more than pleasant ride, and well worth repeated listens. If you expect too much you’ll be disappointed, if you approach it with little by way of expectations, especially related to the man’s main job, I think you are in for a low-key treat.
It’s a record that takes you to a quiet and incredibly pleasant place, and it really is delightful, and would be whoever had made it.