Johnny Goudie & the Little Champions

El Payaso (Sea Change)

Texas Platters

Johnny Goudie & the Little Champions

El Payaso (Sea Change)

There's at least a dozen bands from the Nineties and Aughties easily referenced by Johnny Goudie's friendly, retro-glam sound, but let's just cut out Oasis and the other middlemen and reach back to the golden Britpop era, the Beatles to T. Rex. That's the most definitive if innocuous reference point for the lush melodies and coy vocals abounding within the harmony-laden El Payaso, not much of a departure from Goudie's coming-of-age effort, Boy in a Box, from 2005. Goudie's sharpened his songwriting skills, though ("Battle Scar"), his whimsical tone enhanced by Jonas Wilson and Lars Göransson at the boards. With flourishes such as the warm strings of Tosca on "Listen to Me" and "Get Out," an oddball shout-out to Whitney Houston, plus the radio-ready "All the Tea in China," Johnny Goudie's not taking any chances with his stylish indie-pop, but then he doesn't have to.

**

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