The Listening Pool

The Listening Pool


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iTunes Album Review The Listening Pool's Still Life is essentially Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark stripped of its later synth pop excesses. Featuring three members of OMD, Paul Humphreys (Vocals), Martin Cooper (Keyboards), and Malcolm Holmes (Drums), the Listening Pool's jazzy, laid-back grooves on Still Life have more in common with the lush, romantic pop of China Crisis, the Blue Nile, and Roxy Music. Except for "Oil for the Lamps of China," many of the songs on Still Life will not remind listeners of OMD. While keyboards are still used, they're more subtle; instead of powering tracks, they provide atmosphere or add sunny hooks underneath the wealth of acoustic guitars. The songs are magnificent, refreshingly moving beyond O.M.D's limited canvas. The soulful "Promised the World" is driven by funky guitar riffs, while the radiant "Blue Africa" is imbued with reggae. Even when he's experimenting with new stylistic territory, Humphreys hasn't forgotten to write catchy, memorable tunes. The uplifting, mercilessly addictive title track has a chorus which accurately describes the effect the Listening Pool's songs have on the listeners: "Anywhere you are/Driving in your car/You go through my head." Consider that a warning - and a recommendation.