In The Twee Small Hours – Gavin Osbourne

2007 – Gravity Drop Records

Folk/ Rock/ Alternative

in the twee small hours

A quaint British man with an acoustic guitar in front of mild crowd performing quaint little songs with irregular scanning and off-the-wall topics: yes, it’s just as cutesy and twee as the title makes it out to be. Nevertheless, it is certainly very charming in its ridiculous way, I mean, it’s just so unabashed about trying to charm your little cotton socks off that it actually ends up doing it.

The First Recorder Playing Rock ‘n’ Roll Star and 20th Century Joy are both so sweet, sad, and funny that they’re had to go past for cuteness, and they do bring a warm smile to the lips even thought they are intrisically musically boring. The kind of twee acoustic pop that you can’t really explain why it is that you like it, but you do.

On the flipside, however, there are a plethora of other tracks on this little collection where Osbourne tries his hand at serious and heartfelt. Not a great move when your musical persona is built around a mildly amusing set of jokes and the affability that comes with not really being able to play or sing that well. I mean, without the jokes this album is really just a poorly written and poorly performed set of half-arsed love songs with no real interest of depth in them. With the jokes, it’s cute and you feel like you can relate, but too often for my tastes does Osbourne just forget that he’s meant to be funny.

I guess what I’m trying to say is if you’re going to be this twee then you better stick with it. It just doesn’t work when you try to switch in and out of being a comedian and playing the straight man, and when you’re jokes aren’t all that funny to begin with it all just becomes a bit of mess. Especially when the switches takes place all within one single song (Platform Girl).

I suppose it is relatively consistent all things considered with Osbourne’s jokes and style becoming familiar to the listener by the end of the record, but still I feel like everything could have been executed just that little bit better. It’s not particularly bad in the form that it is, but its potential has definitely not been breached.

So, in conclusion I have to say that, while I was charmed thoroughly by Gavin Osbourne’s plain-spoken cuteness, I was also rather underwhelmed by the whole experience once this initial charm had worn off. Each track ended up running together somewhat for me, and I really can’t say that I found any parts particualrly funny or particularly moving. It’s not bad, but it certainly not a shining achievement of music.



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