Roddy Frame – Seven Dials...

Growing old gracefully is not a concept embraced by all pop stars still plying their trade as the inevitable slide towards middle age sets in. Their gaudy attempts to recapture the glory days can often be painfully embarrassing to watch. Eighties teen idol Roddy Frame has long recognised that the adulation he once enjoyed as a bona fide pop star with his band Aztec Camera is a thing of the past but there is still music to be made, songs to be sung. He served his song-writing apprenticeship as part of the embryonic Postcard Records scene; the legendary Scottish label is fondly remembered as a breeding ground for acts with a commitment to the ideal of intelligent, classy pop music. In 1983, Aztec Camera released their classic debut album High Land, Hard Rain; Frame was just nineteen years old and found himself a fully fledged pop star with the hit single ‘Oblivious’ securing his place as an eighties icon. Further success followed – hit singles like ‘Somewhere In My Heart’ demonstrated Frame’s flair for penning catchy, memorable tunes, a talent that continues to shine undimmed on this his fourth solo album, Seven Dials. This is a collection of poignantly beautiful, timeless pop songs infused with a wisdom and maturity that befits Frame’s status as a musician and songwriter with over thirty years on the clock. It’s a record gilded with wistful observations on the passage of time, and Frame’s finely honed gift for crafting near perfect melodies. Songs like the brisk ‘Forty Days of Rain’ with its Dylan-esque harmonica intro and ‘Fly Into the Sun’ are lively up-tempo numbers that are instantly memorable. On the pensive and evocative ‘English Garden’ Frame sings: ‘Now in every room a different sorrow hangs|And the past is like...