Pugwash - Silverlake album review

Brian Wilson-approved craftsman perseveres

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Whether co-writing cricket concept albums as the Duckworth Lewis Method or working under his Pugwash moniker, Thomas Walsh is Dublin’s equivalent to Ron Sexsmith, pursuing an outmoded ideal of pop perfection to his heroes’ approval and considerable public indifference. Still, Jeff Lynne loves him, and ex-Jellyfish man Jason Falkner invited him to LA so they could make this seventh Pugwash album together.

With strings giving a Nick Drake touch to Sunshine True and Such A Shame imagining a McCartney/Harrison ballad, this is a walk through a vanished pop Eden whose gates closed back in 1975.

Walsh can also rise above his references. Autarch pastiches Harrison at his most lugubrious, but as guitars buck into a Bolan boogie, the song gains an unpredictable life of its own.

I could try a different style but I’m just so lazy,’ Walsh confesses during Easier Done Than Said. Why change a losing but heartfelt formula?