The Poems Young America

The Poems might just be releasing their debut album but they feature a wealth of talent from the ’80s Scottish music scene. Young America sees the welcome return of Robert Hodgens, aka the legendary Bobby Bluebell, who headed up the band the Bluebells, and also includes the late Bobby Paterson, who was not only a member of Love and Money but also produced Primal Scream in their early days. Joining them is Adrian Barry from the High Fidelity and there’s also a guest list that features members of Teenage Fanclub, Del Amitri and the Proclaimers. How could it fail to be fantastic? And it is. Despite having all those old-timers it shakes off a potentially dated sound thanks to the vocals of Kerry Polwart, bringing it into similar territory as Camera Obscura and the Concretes. The songs have wonderfully rich arrangements with an underlying sweetness that makes it an incredibly easy listen, even if the lyrics are a little darker than they might initially seem. And that effortlessness is what makes Young America such a great pop album, one that lives up to expectations. (Minty Fresh)