Rialto’s self-titled debut picks up where Pulp’s 1996 classic Different Class left off—offering glam-influenced Britpop and vivid lyrics presenting snapshots of 1990s lower-middle class British life. Such is the storytelling strength of the songs that on tracks like “Monday Morning 5:19,” the listener is inevitably drawn into the lives of the songs’ characters in somewhat cinematic fashion. “Broken Barbie Doll” illustrates the lower-class dream run to seed, with the type of resonance so brilliantly practiced by Ray Davies and late Jam era Paul Weller. Musically, Rialto is more than up to the challenge of fleshing out its character studies, employing lush arrangements and vocals by Louis Eliott that share with Jarvis Cocker (Pulp) an ever so slightly strain of seedy irony.
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