Review: Robbie Boyd – Painted Sky

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Following 2012’s Autumn’s Flown and Spring Generation EPs, Painted Sky, the prolific Robbie Boyd’s latest release, is available now.

May’s TFFT Live headliner Robbie Boyd’s third EP in just over a year opens with the upbeat and radio-friendly I Want You To Stay, a track that gained Robbie and his band a second slot on ITV’s Good Morning show earlier this month. And it is perfectly pleasant, but sadly just feels too generic to excite or form any kind of lasting impression.

The rest of this four track self-release continues in much the same vein. Before It Falls is underpinned by handclaps and enthusiastically strummed acoustic guitar leaving some clues to Boyd’s busking past. This with the slightly sickly sing-a-long vocal in the chorus would make this, I’d imagine, a live favourite among fans.

If there’s a saving grace on Painted Sky, it’s Oh Alaska – maintaining the big chorus thread that runs through all four songs, but with a somehow more honest and convincing delivery.

Red Queen completes the set. A little more rocky than its predecessors, it is a big and full sounding piece, with electric guitars, strings and horns joining the acoustic guitar, drums, bass and piano. Ultimately though, it is middle of the road at best.

Melancholy is relatively easy to pull off. To create a strong and interesting slant on upbeat pop music is much less so. I’m afraid Robbie Boyd’s most recent effort serves only to prove this.

But then, with two ITV This Morning performances and a sell out show at London’s Bush Hall under their belts, maybe Boyd and his swelling fan base are onto something.

Nathan Fisher