Everyone who’s anyone knows that God favours power pop above all other forms of rock music. At its best, as on The Afternoons second album ‘My Lost City’, the artform is a skyward-gazing celebration of love and life that can elevate the listener’s mood or bring a tear to your eye. This album pulls off both these tricks without even breaking a sweat.
Remember perky pop misfits The Supernaturals? Well this is the record they were striving to make, but never quite managed. It is magnificently consistent, diverse and loaded to the brim with optimism and soul. ‘My Lost City’ is the soundtrack to a breezy afternoon picnic on the side of a mountain on a day when the sun shines bright and clear and there is not a single cloud on the horizon. It is one of those moments that is so vivid it actually hurts.
Every song flits by without a second thought. ‘Gonna Stay Together’, ‘All There Is To Know’ and ‘Does She Look The Same’ are timeless pop, caching the best bits of The Beach Boys and The Byrds and err… Dodgy. Britpop, however, this is certainly not. No sir. Apart from ‘For A Fool’, that is, which is as skewed as a Super Furry Animals number and insanely catchy. The rest could have been recorded any time between now and the ‘60s.
We finally bid them adieu as a choir of angelic children join in for a tear-inducing ‘You Can Change The World’ (“When your dreams are almost through/Lift your head to the sky/Open your beautiful eyes”), before a small solo send-off, titled simply ‘Boy’, closes the curtains on the lost city. Something tells me I’ll be back to visit the place before long.
8Tom Edwards's Score