Review: Philip Selway — Weatherhouse

Three Stars
★★★☆☆

Poor Philip Selway. The former Radiohead drummer’s sophomore effort has been upstaged by the surprise release of frontman Thom Yorke’s Tomorrow’s Wooden Boxes. Nonetheless, the pair have Radiohead fans talking and the rumour mill’s in full swing.

The album opens, and unfortunately peaks, with lead single ‘Coming up for Air’. Selway’s melancholic vocals float over punchy synths, whilst a melodic bridge builds the tension of the moody track by forever suspending the delivery of the title.

As the album progresses, cool beats meet slick synths, whilst sonorous strings compliment the slow, moody vocals. These vocals, meanwhile, are pretty; almost too pretty. At times it feels like the delicacy and precision could be replaced with a rawer, edgy tonality.

Lyrically, Weatherhouse is weak. The stripped back vocals and minimalist lyrics allow space for the intricate textural layers, but it’s not long before Selway’s angst-filled crooning becomes repetitive. It takes only three tracks to grow weary of the heartache inspired lyrics, and only a few more to want to hand him a diary and tell him not to come out of his Weatherhouse anytime soon.

Selway’s effort is an intriguing one. It’s an interesting foray into Twenty First Century prog rock, yet it ultimately lacks the hooks and drive that make Radiohead special. It’s promising, but, if the rumours are to be believed, the real excitement is yet to come.