Les Bablers: Psychadilly Circus – album review
The Bablers – Psychadilly Circus
CD / DL
Released on May 29, 2021
15 track album on Big Stir from reformed Finnish new wave / power pop group The Bablers, including the singles Love Is Everything and Queen Of Yesterday. This group made their debut in 1980 with What’s It All About and this third LP comes after Like The First Time of 1998. Ian Canty finds himself babbling as usualâ¦
The Bablers new album Psychadilly Circus takes the listener back to the pop heyday of the late 1960s – there’s no doubt that this is Psychobilly Circus from the start! This Finnish act appears here on Big Stir in 2021 with a long story behind them. Originally from Helsinki, they reunited in 1980. They brought together new wave and power pop influences on their first LP What’s It All About, released the same year. It made a big impression in their home country, but after the single Suddenly / Day By Day in 1982, the band broke up. Like The First Time, a comeback collection, emerged in 1998 when the band regrouped, but after that there was another long gap in Bablers’ activities before the album we have here.
The current Babler lineup is made up of Janne Haavisto, Pekka GrÃ¶hn, Hannu Pikkarainen and Arto Tamminen, each playing a variety of instruments and vocals, with Arto being the lead vocalist of the group. In my opinion, Big Stir is the perfect home for the painstakingly constructed pop / rock & roll brand of the Bablers and influenced by the 1960s and Psychadilly Circus positions itself gloriously in a multicolored midst of the late 1960s. At first glance it might seem proof of a purely retro mindset, the tunes, energy, and sheer joy that The Bablers bring to the LP puts it above such considerations.
That said, the first track, Love Is Everything, is pretty close to a John Lennon / Beatles piano ballad, but leaves with a constant focus and is beautifully put together, so I’ll give them a pass. Next comes the click and fuzz of the title song, a neat slice of modern psychedelia with a cowbell that ends in a gradual disappearance. Queen Of Yesterday puts the brakes on, a sad but captivating character study that uses reduced verse sections to emphasize the power and poise of the group as they enter. The organ work here is also charming.
I Hope It Wouldn’t Rain Tomorrow shines with its sparkling guitars, leaning at the meeting point of power pop and new wave and in so doing, produces addicting pop rock. The seductive sound of the music box from All Because Of You comes next, then a quiet acoustic meditation in Unidentified comes with again some nice and tasteful keyboard touches. Where Were You My Friend’s short folk guitar picking stages Some Tears, which unfolds in the same way as Love Is Everything, with a dreamlike atmosphere evoked. The Angry Young Man rolling piano number follows with almost a “show tune” feel, there is a good playful side to the melody of this number and whistles that would make Roger Whittaker envious too!
Then the listener is treated to an attractive, laid-back Love To Live, but it’s not without stinging. There are some well-judged and professional guitars that also get into the sound and it all adds up to something magnificent. Walking On Sunny Beach takes the beat up a notch, mixing psychedelic pop / rock with a lively, catchy chorus and Child Of War, which comes next, comes down to vocal harmony and acoustic guitar, before the strings hit. do not buzz within earshot. A nicely sparse arrangement that is executed in a delightfully light way.
Then When You Were Growing soon comes out of a reverie, leaving with some urgent guitar clicks and a real kick. The Bablers also don’t forget to include a cracker of a melody, resulting in a seductive pop sound that is both airy and addicting. Singing With The Bluebird then returns to soft acoustic folk and finally the LP ends with Speedy’s Sixties Mix of Love Is Everything, thus coming full circle.
The arrangements of these songs are rich and cared for in every detail, which helps to make the individual tracks special and to be a part of the whole. It’s clear how hard the Bablers worked to make Psychadilly Circus such a fully realized build. This album is full of charm, good tunes, and an easy-going swagger, just built for anyone into light pop and / or shiny power pop that’s been reworked. A pop-chic confectionery with lots of hidden depths and cool atmospheres the listener can immerse themselves in, the kaleidoscopic entertainment brand of Psychadilly Circus has plenty of tracks designed to last.
The Bablers are on Facebook here
All of Ian Canty’s words – see his author profile here