Artful Dodger
Name of Album: "It's All About the Stragglers"
Ratings: Personal - 2 General - 3
Release Date: Out Now

The cover art to Artful Dodger's new album, : "It's All About the Stragglers", belies its content. I was expecting British grit, another Trainspotting or Snatch soundtrack, but instead I was bit by innovative UK pop. The first swig left me a bit giddy, with its pervasive perky spritzer sound. I can almost see myself in the club which might play this music, nursing a tall glass of seltzer with a token lime embarrassed in the glare of too many lights and the plastic smiles of a crowd half my age. I would have welcomed the brace of some 30 year old scotch somewhere in between these saccharin tracks, but then again it might have left me with a hangover, rather than the tender lightness I felt after finishing with no. 15.

The compilation is a good mix of gratuitous sound and sweet vocals suitable to youth and the times, but there is no milestone here, no matter what the charts say. Not essential, but it may be worth that round of afterwork drinks you might have otherwise reached into your pocket for. Buy it if today has you thinking of better days and you need something to get your toes tapping.

In sum, or perhaps moreover, unlike Groove Armada's newest release, goodbye country (and most other "chill-out" music emanating from Ibiza), Artful Dodger is not the best choice for a receding landscape to read Virgil's Eclogues by.