Fyfe Dangerfield: Fly Yellow Moon

by Joanna Orland

Guillemots frontman Fyfe Dangerfield has finally released his long-anticipated solo album Fly Yellow Moon. The verdict is in. And it’s a bit surprising…

While the Guillemots albums are usually a bit offbeat and possibly not something that can grab on first listen, they entice further listening and are packaged well as albums with a consistent sound that feels cohesive. Obviously you can tell where I’m going with this review…

While Fyfe is an extremely talented musician, on first listen, I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on here. A very large mish-mash of styles that don’t necessarily go together. Eclecticism is good though, right? And Fyfe’s voice does carry the album…. But on first listen, it just didn’t draw me in.

Luckily it did have a second life and after seeing Fyfe perform the album live at The Scala my mind was changed. These tunes are good. Played acoustically, these songs were beautiful and Fyfe’s voice only enhanced that fact. So what is it about the album that doesn’t have the same effect as the AMAZING live performance? Overproduction and complicated instrumentation is my opinion.

Having gone back and had another listen to Fly Yellow Moon, I think my first judgement was a bit harsh as I can now hear the songs for more of what they are at the core, which is beautifully melodic. But some effort is required as to filter out all the bizarre instrumentation that pops up on most tunes. This instrumentation does vaguely work on Fyfe’s first solo single She Needs Me. Anything that is reminiscent of Electric Light Orchestra is ok in my book. But again, it sounds completely different to any other song on here.

After seeing Fyfe live and listening to the album, I am gutted Fyfe didn’t make a raw acoustic album as that would have been more daring, suiting and standout as an instant classic. As it is, there’s nothing classic about Fly Yellow Moon, but I do recommend seeing Fyfe perform in concert if you get the chance. One can only hope that he’ll release a live acoustic album of these performances in order to redeem himself… one can hope…

This all sounds so harsh.. but expectations were high for this release. I can’t help but be a bit cynical when delivery falls at all short.

Leave a Reply