you can make it if you boogie

james kirk ~ you can make it if you boogie (marina records, 2003)

you may know orange juice: a classic band from uk formed by edwin collins and james kirk in 1976 that lasted until 1984 and was a strong musical reference to bands from the smiths to belle and sebastian. and you may know edwin collins' solo career, that started right after the band split up. as for james kirk, he vanished from the music scene after releasing one single in a band called memphis. almost 20 years later he came back with you can make it if you boogie, reminding that collins wasn't the only one with license to make sparkling guitar pop.
an album full of those jangly guitar hooks that made orange juice a legend. the warmth and funky driven melodies are also there, everything wrapped up by james' unique voice.
the album is almost like a travelogue and starts with the incredibly catchy 'get on board'. a 4 minute gem that mentions tommy sheridan, leader of the scottish socialist party. in 'houston, texas' we hear mr. kirk singing about a trailer park in the usa and there's even some rapping (and it's priceless). 'nilsson' is inspired by fred neils' 'everybody's talking', a hit for nilsson in 1969. 'felicity' is an amazing, laid-back version of one of the most loved tracks from orange juice with a new bridge which features the lines that give the name to the album. by the way, it's the first time kirk got to sing it since the orange juice's version is sang by edwin.
kirk shows that whatever went on in the long, short intervening years, he hasn't lost his sense of humor, sunny disposition, hipster bent, soft spot for soul and understated ability to write a great guitar pop song. hope to hear about new releases from him before 2023...

(the album features some of the best scottish musicians... campbell owens from aztec camera, norman blake from teenage fanclub and mick slaven, also producer of the album).

01. get on board
02. nilsson
03. rehab
04. cardboard castles
05. any old iron (part I)
06. outre
07. krach auf wiedersehen
08. houston, texas
09. liggin' round again
10. fruitier than you
11. felicity
12. old soak
13. western pier

buy it

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