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Four Hours Sleep

Love Specifics

(Popboomerang; US: 9 Sep 2006)

Four Hours Sleep is a very capable Australian outfit that makes very crisp and credible adult contemporary pop. A song like “I Know I Shouldn’t (But I Can’t Help Myself)”, with Frente’s Angie Hart on lead vocals, has all the hallmarks of a reply to a Pulp number. Hart returns later on for an impressive roots number “Goodbye Song” that brings to mind The Waifs or Be Good Tanyas. But the band, which is the brainchild of Bill McDonald who has worked with Frente and Neneh Cherry among others, is just as fine delivering great, infectious pop as it does during “I Love That Woman” featuring Charles Jenkins on lead vocals. Meanwhile, “Who Ya Gonna Love?” resembles a U2 b-side as Stephen Cummings sings like that Bono fellow. This veering between pop and roots/folk is a key ingredient to the album’s success, with another charmer Nick Cave-ish “Original Lover” glistening from start to finish as does the rowdier “Very Strange, Very Cool”. Another highlight is the Dylan-ish “If I Had My Way” with Paul Kelly on lead vocals. On the whole it’s an album you’d enjoy even if you had two hours sleep let alone four.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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