Philip Selway - Weatherhouse

Philip Selway - Weatherhouse

How can anyone give a Philip Selway album a fair review? Most singer/songwiters struggle to be in the same world as Thom Yorke, let alone in the same band, Radiohead.

But there are two types of solo albums that drummers make. There are the ones made by Dave Grohl and Phil Collins, and then there’s the other type, the ones made by Peter Criss and Ringo Starr.

So Philip Selway scores full points for bravery, just for making and commercially releasing Weatherhouse, his second solo offering. Was it coincidence that Thom Yorke casually tossed out his own solo album in the same week on BitTorrent? Was it just to show poor Phil up?

Weatherhouse is a low key, mostly electronic affair, with pastoral British synthesizers, acoustic guitar, half whispered vocals and the occasional flourish of inspired percussion.

Made in collaboration with Adem Ilhan and Quinta who perform in Philip's backing band, (and are artists in their own right). The record is definitely lush and beautiful, but even with this added creative firepower the record just doesn't make a dent, you kind of slide right off it. And the problem is Selway himself.

Selway's vocals lack dynamics, depth, drama, humour or any kind of engaging quality. They’re stuck on the “mope” setting for the entire record.

There’s some lame rhyming couplets. And recurring lyrical themes of unresolved relationship dramas. It’s reminiscent of a double tracked mid life crisis recorded to 4 track that the boss of your accounting firm made, and has given to you because he heard you liked music.

This record has no shortage of production resources, but lacks great ideas and any clear intention other than for Selway to mumble out his personal shit. Having said that, Philip shouldn't give up, this is his journey. Maybe the third album will be the charm.
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