This is another of those records with one big potential single — “Summer Parade” — surrounded by a lot of… well, the title is self-descriptive, really: wonderful nothing. By that I mean most of the songs, a little less than half of which are instrumentals, are nice but mild, certainly likable but lacking in hooks.
Besides “Summer,” exceptions include the shiny pop of “This Is How It Ends” and “Justine,” which is trip-hop that endearingly samples an infant. The rest, as I say, is nothing if not personable.
The opening “Fleet” sounds like nothing more than a synthetic Doctor Who score, circa 1981, turned into would-be lounging music by Violet Indiana. And I mean that as a good thing. “Beautiful View” steals the heart of the Pet Shop Boys and sails away with it.
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this album yet cannot recommend it unreservedly. Andy Chase, the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who is Brookville, sometimes sounds like a kindred spirit; at least I suspect there’s a lot of overlap in our record collections. But he has not yet cleared away all the extraneous clutter that obscures his vision. Better weeding could make future records intoxicating. Tell you what. If any two of the touchstones I mentioned in this review gladden your heart, permit me to recommend Wonderfully Nothing. It’s the kind of thing you’re only going to like if you like it.