The Clientele, ‘God Save the Clientele’ (Merge)
These Londoners specialize in melancholic, Beatles-esque melodies threaded through phrases like “The world is dark” (“No Dreams Last Night”), “You end up alone” (“Isn’t Life Strange?”), and “It’s gonna be a lonely, lonely day” (“The Queen of Seville”). That’s not necessarily a problem, as the luscious pedal steel that gooses the latter two tracks proves. Still, ringleader Alasdair MacLean can be a sad sack, and his band succeeds best when it shakes off the doldrums: “Here Comes the Phantom” — a sweet-and-sunny “Daydream Believer” pop rocker — and the disco-inflected “Bookshop Casanova” are the album’s best moments.
Now Hear This: The Clientele – “Bookshop Cassanova” DOWNLOAD MP3