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Album Review: Professor Penguin – Planes

17 Apr

I’d like a ‘P’ please Bob.
Yes it’s an easy joke to make, and most likely one that will have younger readers scratching their heads in bemusement, and no doubt it is one that the assorted members (all nine of them) of Professor Penguin have heard countless times over the last couple of weeks. Given that their name, their debut album, Planes, and every track thereon begins with the letter P, they shouldn’t really be surprised.

With our poor attempt at humour out of the way, let’s focus on the music, and what a treat it is. Considering this London based collection of musicians has swollen its ranks to nine, you would be forgiven for expecting something of a racket, with each of the legion of instruments battling for prominence. Not at all, melody is King of this soundscape and the horns, strings, keys, drums, vocals etc merely subjects sworn to its allegiance. It is about compliment, not combat.

The 10 tracks swim effortlessly along and each arrangement is as soft and dreamy as the last. It is no wonder the guys have been attracting the attention of 6Music and Brian Eno. With each listen more and more of the depth and beauty is revealed, the subtly and emotion of the lyrics unfold before you, drawing you still deeper into its warm and inviting embrace. Take your time with this, listen properly and without distraction and you will be rewarded. If all debuts were this good, no-one would make a second album, ever.

Planes is out now on Gentoo Recordings and can be bought digitally or on CD.