Josh Pyke
Memories & Dust


3.5
great

Review

by Phil USER (16 Reviews)
June 17th, 2007 | 15 replies | 4,535 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Josh Pyke can write beautiful and catchy songs. However, sometimes lyrically he can be seen as borderline pretentious which is a flaw to his debut album.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Josh Pyke is a new Australian singer and songwriter. He has got a lot of success within the Australian music industry. His EP, Feeding the Wolves, garnered a lot of attention due the song ‘Middle of the hill’ (also featured here). It was on the Australian non-commercial radio station’s yearly Hottest 100, it featured at #19 in 2005. Feeding the wolves also was nominated for an ARIA. However, this success has gone to his head with a few songs.

Lyrically he is very good as he can write with personal attributes. The problem with him writing in personal way is the a few songs are borderline pretentious. This could be due to him wanting another two songs of this album to be on the Hottest 100. The worse example of him being pretentious is ‘Fed and watered’ which is about his rivals and how he will always beat. He sings ‘I guess the industry found a use for my name sake’ and ‘I earn my wage on a track that's almost totally bare’. However, musically he is very good and this alone can suppress the pretentiousness which is found in a few of his songs.

‘Someone else’s town’ is a fine song which only has him singing with his acoustic guitar. It has hints of Nick Drake’s Parasite as the themes as well are similar. He uses an acoustic guitar on all of the songs which adds a folk tinge to the songs. However, he also has a backing band which is similar to that of Elliott Smith’s album XO. The backing band doesn’t take any of the limelight from Josh Pyke, instead, they enhance the sound and capture the up-beat themes which he sings about. Josh Pyke has soothing, relaxing vocals which creates the melody that the backing band revolves around.

‘Middle of the hill’ which was previously mentioned to a certain extent detracts from the overall flow of the album. This is more then likely due to it being an old song which doesn’t capture the same flow the newer songs do. It also seems less orchestrated then the radio version. This could be due to it having weaker production then the other songs. It is a generally nice track by itself as he has a more free flowing vocal style as he is telling a story rather then actually singing. He has a nice melodious vocal delivery. The music around it the song is simple and keeps the same pace in a way as his singing. However, it could have easily been left off or at least been placed in a different area of the album. It doesn’t have the same feel as song like ‘Mannequins’ or ‘Forever song’.

These songs, ‘Mannequins’ and ‘Forever song’, showcase the dynamic feel which the backing band creates. Josh Pyke has a simple acoustic guitar riff to open ‘Forever song’. It then moves onto him overlaying his vocals which are a nice compliment to the acoustic guitar. He doesn’t go overboard with vocal effects; it is further accentuated with the drums being a nice background beat to his vocals. ‘Mannequins’ is a bit similar to ‘Forever song’ except the drums are more prominent on this track. His acoustic guitar is less in the mix as the drums play a larger role which adds a different dynamic to the song. These two songs are fairly similar in terms of the lyrics, these themes are mainly about love.

There is no denying that Josh Pyke can write beautiful and catchy songs. However, sometimes lyrically he can be seen as borderline pretentious which is a flaw to his debut album. He will improve with time as he has the general outlines to make some great songs. The backing band is not as prominent as it could be but it doesn’t detract from the overall feel of the album. The single of the EP, ‘Middle of the hill’, could have easily been left off as it hinders the flow. Overall it is a very enjoyable album but needs a tweak here and there.

3.5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
samthebassman
June 17th 2007



2164 Comments


Good review, I dont mind the singles from this album but Iam not keen on it as a whole.

sgrevs
June 17th 2007



698 Comments


I dislike Josh Pyke a lot and he is very pretentious and arrogant in person.

Phil
June 17th 2007



1473 Comments


He seems like a person that would be. He is a good singer and all but his arrogance gets through this album which is not good.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
June 17th 2007



3760 Comments


My sister loves this guy. I saw playing live outdoors during Australia day - it wasn't a very exciting performance, although the atmosphere was great. The music itself is mostly meh, but good job on the review.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

sgrevs
June 18th 2007



698 Comments


i saw that performance too. it was such nice weather.

robin
Emeritus
November 10th 2007



4241 Comments


Nice review.This Message Edited On 01.03.09

Captain North
May 11th 2008



6779 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The problem with this album is the songs are fine by themselves, but as an album, boring as all hell. They all quite literally sound the same, largely because he sings almost all of them in the same way, with only a few exceptions. However, I disagree that the lyrics are a flaw, they are perhaps the one truly great thing about the album.

AtavanHalen
May 11th 2008



17927 Comments


Josh is a fantastic songwriter, and puts on a good show. Goldmines is one of my all-time favourite Australian songs.

Phil
May 11th 2008



1473 Comments


Goldmines? Never heard it, is on his EP?

upagainstthewall
March 15th 2009



838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

new album?

Phil
March 17th 2009



1473 Comments


Nope this is his debut. His news ones ok, was thinking about reviewing it but cant be bothered at the moment.

upagainstthewall
March 18th 2009



838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i meant about goldmines might be on his new album
but do review his new album!


.This Message Edited On 03.18.09

Phil
March 19th 2009



1473 Comments


Nah, I had a look and its on his EP.

upagainstthewall
March 20th 2009



838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sweet


Valixous
August 22nd 2013



46 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is lovely. Musical speaking it's no huge triumph, but lyrically this album is superb. Josh Pyke is in incredible poet; some truly beautiful words here.



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