Gay Dad Leisure Notes

Here’s another UK artist who sells piles at home and is hoping to repeat that success on this side of the big pool. As per usual, the higher register of singer Cliff Jones’ voice may turn off indie rock purists, but this is a damn good rock album — filled with good pop melodies, hints of gospel and lots of “oohs” and “ahhs” to fill out the sound. Although not mentioned in the packaging, Gad Dad is essentially the brainchild of Jones, who took a lot of stick in the UK over this Gad Dad business. Not for the name, but for his background. Cliff Jones had worked in the music business as a journalist and music marketer, which many felt gave him an unfair, inside advantage to the formula of the biz. Was he exploiting the system to make himself a rock star? The debate kept the music tabloids busy, but really who cares? Although some tracks like “Jesus Christ” can creep towards the Robbie Williams end of the pop spectrum, there’s “Joy” and “Oh Jim” to roughen things up a bit. “Black Ghost” even gets a bit of a groove going, showing enough versatility to make Leisure Notes a more than competent debut. (London)