First for music news
This Week's Issue
You’re logged in

Dumbing Up

It's quite possible that [B]'Dumbing Up'[/B] could be the blueprint for the next [a]Robbie Williams[/a] LP...

Dumbing Up

A year ago, [a]World Party[/a]'s Karl Wallinger was just the less irritating one out of The Waterboys, with a career slowly dying on its arse. One random twist of fate later, and he's the writer of a Number One hit for Robbie Williams ('She's The One').

'Dumbing Up' is a celebration of the fact that Wallinger's life has a meaning again. His first LP since 1997's 'Egyptology', it's a solid combination of earnest song-writing and as many borrowed bits from the Stones' 'Let It Bleed' and mid-'60s Dylan as he can cram in.

If that sounds unambitious, then be reassured that [a]World Party[/a] aren't as offensive as The Lightning Seeds. Wallinger's half-hearted apology for a voice even has some sort of character (though it's hard to spot that from his appalling attempt at a falsetto on 'Here Comes The Future'). Indeed, there's some- thing strangely appealing about Wallinger. He's the kind of earnest, journeyman songwriter that it's pointless getting upset about, and when he gets the chance to let it all hang out on 'Always On My Mind', he even comes close to emulating the genius of his idols.

It's quite possible that 'Dumbing Up' could be the blueprint for the next Robbie Williams LP. For all its quirks and tics, he could do a lot worse.

To rate this track, log in to NME.COM

To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday


Please login to add your comment.

More Videos
Latest Tickets - Booking Now
Know Your NME

NME Store & Framed Prints
Most Read Reviews
Popular This Week
Inside NME.COM
On NME.COM Today