Leo Sayer - Selfie

Apparently the first album ever performed, produced, arranged and (mostly) written by Leo Sayer, Selfie still sounds pretty much as you might expect. The 71-year-old singer’s hogged the middle of the road most of his life, so why steer left now?

However, Selfie still offers up some surprises, the first and most obvious one being how much Sayer sounds like Roger Daltrey on the title track, something that’s particularly poignant since it’s often forgotten that he co-wrote The Who frontman’s first solo hit (Giving It All Away). Another surprise is his decision to address politics: the We Didn’t Start The Fire vibes of Occupy, written with DJ producer Lee Dagger (who helped Meck remix Thunder In My Heart Again for 2006’s No.1), portrays the social movement’s characters while declaring a little optimistically that “one spray can, if it’s in the right hands/ Could change the world”.

Meanwhile, Refugees’ gospel flavours make Sayer one of the few artists to discuss immigration themes with empathy and no holds barred: “They will hide us from you/ Say it’s for your liberty”. He also pays tribute to Marvin Gaye on Soul Mining, hits the disco floor on Build You A Rainbow, harmonises like Supertramp on I Am Your Man, and even swears on the bluesy, Leonard Cohen ‘appropriation’, Everybody Lies.

7/10

Wyndham Wallace

 

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