King Of Woolworths L'Illustration Musicale

Mancunian Jon Brooks should make his living out of soundtracking ads for luxury cars made by Lexus and Jaguar, but instead, he records as King Of Woolworths (which, if you’re British, isn’t a very impressive line of royal blood). His second album, L’Illustration Musicale, most likely takes its name from his fascination with French, cinematic pop, as Serge Gainsbourg’s influence wears like a cheap bottle of Hai Karate. The ultra-slick orchestration and cliché beats are very suitable for TV, but on stereo, it all gets tiresome fast. His choice in guest vocalists, however, saves this record from losing a pulse altogether. Former One Dove chanteuse Dot Allison and the Delgados’ Emma Pollack contribute their lungs on "Sell Back My Soul” and "Nuada.” Yet, by the time you realise it’s them singing, the tiny bit of interest sparked, still isn’t enough to get excited in the least. Looks like Woolworths should be in search of a new ruler. (Mantra)