The Duckworth Lewis Method

Sticky Wickets - DCR 2013

Tracks: 1. Sticky Wickets / 2. Boom Boom Afridi / 3. It's Just Not Cricket / 4. The Umpire / 5. Third Man / 6. Chin Music / 7. Out In The Middle / 8. Line And Length / 9. The Laughing Cavaliers / 10. Judd's Paradox / 11. Mystery Man / 12. Nudging And Nurdling


The Neil Hannon and Thomas Walsh cooperation project "The Duckworth Lewis Method" from 2009 came as a big positive surprise. With cricket as the theme the two fine singers and songwriters created a refreshing album with catchy melodies of which most of them could have been Divine Comedy songs.

I believe many had expected that "The Duckworth Lewis Method" would remain a one-off, but now four years later the duo is back with the sequel, "Sticky Wickets". The theme is still cricket, lyrically dealt with, with both humor and bite. This time musically the two songwriters are spreading to even more genres than the first time, which some will surely find exciting, while others may feel that it is at the expense of the overall impression and consistency.

To me music is strongest when Hannon and Walsh are working within the classic rock / pop genre with inspiration from groups like E.L.O., The Eagles, The Beatles and others.

On the title track of the album it is when the duo come closest to real rock music - actually there are a lot of similarities with several of the early The Who songs with rock guitar and falsetto voices. A fine opening number, although it is not musically a beacon for the rest of the album.

One of the finest numbers is "The Umpire", which sounds a lot like a "Divine Comedy" track; a great song sung by Hannon. Other highlights include "Out in the Middle", with lead vocals from Thomas Walsh. Fine vocal harmonies and a melody which might well have been created by The Eagles.

"Third Man" is one of the clearest examples of inspiration from E.L.O., A song that might have done well on the charts in 1970s. The complex "Judd's Paradox" is another example of a song that well could have come from a "Divine Comedy" album.

A handful of the songs seem to me musically speaking either too silly or unexciting, which naturally draws down on the overall impression.

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