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Rodney Cromwell - Memory Box

Review

Memory Box by Rodney Cromwell

Rose-tinted electronica

The man behind Rodney Cromwell is the same man behind John Peel favs Saloon (remember them?). His name is Adam Cresswell and here he is playing music in the forest:

Adam Cresswell aka Rodney Cromwell

Memory Box is his second album (following 2015's Age Of Anxiety) and perfectly showcases his knack for writing perfect electronic earworms. Playing on a theme of memories (real, projected and invented) we're gifted a kaleidoscopic view inside the head of Cromwell and it's a place filled with a joyful sadness. Like watching scratchy Super 8 films on a mobile phone or a slide show of digitised Polaroid photos, it's easy to take refuge even when faced with what's inside one's head.

Packed with oddball references (TV watches, Krautrock, typewriters, vocoder, Emilia Fox) and with nods to John Maus and New Order, the twelve compositions are perfectly poised 2020s Pop. You're as likely to hear The Winter Palace in the charts as you are on Steve Lamacq's radio show. It's clear Cresswell knows how to wring every drop of emotion from the listener; a prime example is Opus Three with its opening chord sequence, it's guaranteed to lift the lowest mood. And those little claps that drop in and out in behind the "Won't let it be" refrain are a clandestine mood booster. It's the little touches that make it!

I'm close to ugly-crying every time I hear this album, it's that good.

If you only listen to one track

Opus Three

RIYL

John Maus, New Order, Julian Cope

Label

Happy Robots Records

Artist website

Rodney Cromwell

Release date

18 Mar 2022

Tracklist

  1. Intercom
  2. Opus Three
  3. Memory Box
  4. Fluctuations
  5. Waiting Room
  6. Butterflies in the filing cabinet
  7. Cloud Catalogue
  8. The Small Print
  9. The Department of Public Tranquillity
  10. Wristwatch Television
  11. Calculations
  12. The Winter Palace
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