In what now seems like a fit of over-exuberance, at the time of its release I awarded Expecting to Fly the unofficial mantle of best new album, album of the year, the decade, ever and ever amen. Listening to it now, for the first time in quite a while, the flaws in my argument aren’t hard to spot. For a start I couldn’t even remember anything about its opening track “Talking to Clarry” (note on listening now: takes a while to get going, and I can’t shake the ghost of Second Coming while listening to it. That’s not a compliment). Worse is that I just want to be listening to “Slight Return”, or “Cut Some Rug”. If I could just recall the melody to “Bluetonic” I’m pretty sure I’d rather be listening to that. Now, it’s ok to want to listen to a whole album all at once, to somehow consume it all in the shortest possible time, but the best album like literally ever ought to be able to command more attention than this. If anything, my deep love for this album goes to show my dedication to the indie guitar cause at the time.
I’m surprised, listening to it again now, how much Expecting to Fly depends on its singles and highlights; for an album of not much variation, it’s surprisingly inconsistent. If you take away the catchiness of “Slight Return” and “Bluetonic”, what’s left is a pretty efficient set of indie-pop tracks that just don’t burn brightly enough, and one beautiful lilt in the form of “The Fountainhead”.