The music of Melbourne singer-songwriter is a love-or-loathe kinda deal. Kinda like the music of Radiohead or Bob Dylan, neither of whom would be likely to win their respective nation’s TV talent shows. Thank God. Ladies and gentlemen: the wonderful Charles Baby.

With a nasal warble not unlike a pre-overdubbed Josh Pyke, Mr Baby is a lover of words and a creator of moods. Driven by a need for meaning and purpose, Baby values poetry above catchy choruses, but never with a disregard for melody.

Baby is disposed towards casual pessimism and therefore may be inaccessible to those more acquainted with the surface of the seas than the depths. Some punters will be put off by the sight of song titles like Worse & Worser, Confessions, So Sweet It Hurts and Flame, Burn, Flicker And Fight, but there’s really nothing to fear here. If you know how to listen.

Although Baby has within the album’s opening minutes referenced St Augustine, the sword of Damocles, Joan of Arc, the Romantics and Delacroix, this bibliophile is not as serious as you might at first suspect. His stage name is one insight into his personality, as are throwaway lyrics like “the fires of Hell aren’t new to me, but that doesn’t mean that I’m hot” and the fact that all the capital esses on his website have been replaced with dollar signs.

But it’s pretty heavy going for much of the record -- particularly for the first three songs -- and The End of The Terror Lights could have been buoyed by a different track order. It is not until the fourth track that Baby loosens up musically with the swinging tambourine-rattler, Boys In Town, and we have to wait until the dying moments of the record to encounter the delightful first single A Happy Affair. Unfortunately, many folks may not get that far.

Charles Baby is a deep thinker and creative poet. He has a tender spirit a strong soul, a wicked sense of humour and, as he grows more comfortable in his own skin, his best years are ahead of him. He deserves to be heard.
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