Regular readers of Scottish blogs will almost certainly be aware of the Vinyl Villain inspired ‘Paul Haig Day’ which JC has organised in April for the last 2 years.

Due to pressure of, well life really, I was simply not able to find the time to join in this year but as a penance for failing so miserably to support a friend, I decided to download Paul’s most recent LP ‘Relive’ from emusic.

Now the sum total of my previous Haig experience can be found here. Simply put I wasn’t hip enough to catch onto his original band and consequently his subsequent solo career was never of great interest to me.

It was therefore a bit of a surprise that I liked ‘Relive’ straight away. Maybe it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise given that his influences are not exactly out of the ball park around here, but I guess what impresses me most about the record is the strength of the songwriting throughout.

The template for the record is short pop songs often with repeated mantras for choruses and catchy riffs. All in all it’s pop as a model of economy and it also features more guitars than I had perhaps anticipated (such as on ‘Good Thing’.

There are some terrific songs such as ‘Trip Out The Rider’, the ravey New Order pop of ‘Ambition, and the guitar heavy ‘Round and Round’. Quality stuff. Now JC might have you believe otherwise but it’s not all brilliant – ‘So Contemporary’ doesn’t do much for me. Although it’s very much the exception.

I don’t think any year has ever produced as many albums to enjoy as 2009 has done – it’s in danger of approaching a massive 50 and ‘Relive’ is just another gem to add to the collection.

Buy the CD here or download it here.

A video clip of the lead track

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