LondonNet Music Guide

The Boy Least Likely To - The Best Party Ever

LondonNet Album Review
17th October 2005, Too Young To Die Records
Upcoming Gig: 28th Feb 2006, Bush Hall

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Where the Child Things Are
The Boy Least Likely To present a dark, whimsical and slightly tormented take on childhood...

The Boy Least Likely To Everyone who listens to The Boy Least Likely To's newest album, The Best Party Ever, throws around descriptions that usually include the words "whimsical," "childish" or some similar synonym. Truly, these are the things conveyed by the dislocated voice of Jof (lyrics, vocals), Peter's (music, instruments) lazy conglomerations of fiddle, harmonica and electric beats, and the thematic focus of monsters, worms, flowers and warm panda cola. However, the Wendover boys of The Boy Least Likely To, while deeply committed virtuosos of the varied "whimsical" sounds they create, are not little kids unaware of the complexities that come with age. Using sweetness and simplicity, The Boy Least Likely To slides in a rueful indication that the way things seem aren't really the way they are.

The Best Party Ever opens with Be Gentle With Me, a plea from a neurotic needing someone to put up with his fear of broken hearts, spiders and insects. It's a tone that is strewn throughout the rest of the album. He is the flannel-wearing, pale faced geek with open idealism but amazing self-awareness; his sense of idealism rests on a precarious perch of tangible things. You didn't want to reject him on a date because once his belief in good crumbles, the sweet geek you knew would probably become a self-destructive goth. Or something. The lyrics are pretty.

Fur As Soft As Fur, the next song on the album, further justifies my previous digression. It's not just soft and cuddly fur, it's "Fur so soft it hurts." And then, somewhat morbidly, "Fishes and worms/ frozen under the ice/ sometimes it hurts so much it feels nice." It's like that one expose where we find out that Mr. Rodger's Neighbourhood was a just a cover for Cruella DeVille's Puppy Fur Lab. Fur so soft it hurts, indeed.

Up towards the midpoint of the album, this tone of glossed beautiful misery prevails; it's lovingly combined with rubbery quacks, synthesized thrums and bells. Yet once at midpoint, The Battle of the Boy Least Likely To marks a wounded downward turn. The song enraptures listeners with simple words, vivid images and panpipes. It's a slow, sedate song for most but at "I don't know when to hang on and when to let go," Jof's voice esclates to a gentle strain. As there's minimal emotional discharge for the most of the beginning of the album, the mild torment unleashes sentimentality. The words are juxtaposed against strong sensory hits, "warm milk and honey .. acorns .. paper thin skin."

From that point, the rest of the album holds a decisively rueful and saddened quality. It's really quite nice. It's a lovely listen and the music left me in a thoughtful, good-natured but world-wearied sensibility.

And there're really cute animals on the CD cover...

Jackie Jou

Click here for gig tickets >>
Click here to buy the album >>