There?s so much more to Nik Kershaw than his 80?s hits "The riddle" and "Don?t let the sun go down on me" but superhits can both be an artist?s best friend and worst enemy that will follow you til you die. It can be real tough to move on and try developing the sound and explore new musical frontiers when the crowd only wants to hear the hits, many bands are still touring with a hits show when the die hard fans that collects everything couldn?t care less about the hits - play the stuff that never is done live instead. I bet most of the people that has heard of Kershaw immediately start to think of his 80?s hits when I in fact would exclude them on a private collection, the album "Radio Musicola" (1986) and "The Works" are his 2 best solo albums but his performance on Tony Banks "Still" (1992) is up there with the best Kershaw stuff.
His previous album "To be frank" (2001) was a disppointment in my opinion but the new album "You?ve got to laugh" can be counted among his best work on a top 3 list. Songs like "Born yesterday", "Old house", "All about you" and "Lost, confident and wrong" all belong on a best of album with this smart songwriter.
Jeez, the man does it again. I thought his album ?15 minutes? was great. But when ?To Be Frank? came out, it didn?t move me as much and I found myself saying "not as good as 15 minutes". Two weeks later, I?d decided that ?to be frank? was actually much better than ?15 minutes?. Anyway, the end of my long story is that exactly the same happened with ?you?ve got to laugh?. On initial listening, both my wife and I were only really moved by the last 2 songs, the others falling by the wayside. Two weeks later and guess what? HIS BEST YET, EASILY!!! So, how does that work??? Anyway, not a bad track on the album, in fact 11 of the 12 are fantastic (I?ll keep it to myself which one I think is the odd one out).
With the greatest of respect to his previous albums, Nik?s vocals on this album are by far the best I have EVER heard him sing.
Nik?s songs have always been layered of quality running right through them. It takes a few listens to pick certain things up, but none-the-less, they are there to be heard.
"You?ve Got To Laugh" is 12 tracks and almost a 52 minute journey through the emotions of a certain Mr K that have moved his world one way or another to produce onto disc some of his best work with fabulous well crafted tunes that will put a smile on any miserable gits face that will ever have the pleasure of listeing to it. I just pitty those who never hear this.
Be warned, on hearing the album you will catch yourself singing the choruses spasmodically throughout the day.....and the next day....and the day after that......and the next......
If Nik Kershaw?s career had started in 1999 when his 15 Minutes album was released Mr Kershaw would have a completely different fan base. This new album is a stunning as 15 Mins, as witty as To Be Frank with a little bit of ketchup thrown in for good measure. Anyone from the USA should download the track Loud,Confident and Wrong, a must.
A masterpiece of lyrical genious.