Album review: Attention Seeking by Rory Flynn (7 out of 10)

Attention Seeking by Rory Flynn is out now
Attention Seeking by Rory Flynn is out now

As Horsham’s Battle of the Bands showed just a couple of weeks ago, West Sussex residents don’t have to look far to find good musicians.

Now, Crawley-based songwriter Rory Flynn backs up this point with the release of his fifth album.

Rory, whose influences include Oasis and Richard Ashcroft, has a knack for crafting songs that are simple, mellow and memorable at the same time. This may be down to his fairly universal and easy-to-understand themes, as Rory sings earnestly about taking control of your life (‘Back Seat’) and wanting politicians to listen (‘Stand Tall’).

But, as the album’s title track demonstrates, Rory can also deal intelligently with more difficult subjects. The issue of suicide, which includes all the complicated thoughts behind the act (or attempt), is risky to tackle through art, but Rory offers a sensitive and thoughtful take on it.

‘Attention Seeking’ is a powerful song but, for me, this album’s high point is ‘Let Me In’, a warm-hearted, melodic ballad about love and (as far as I can tell) lust.

The only criticism I have is that the songs aren’t very lively, but that is coming from a life-long heavy metal fan. ‘All Greek To Me’ is a good example of this. There are soaring electric guitar riffs and crashing drums but they seem be ‘behind’ Rory’s soothing vocals, which creates a strangely low-energy vibe.

However, this offbeat atmosphere is also part of the album’s charm. Basically, Attention Seeking is enjoyable because of the way it blends conventional and quirky elements together.

It’s also free of too much polish, so the songs have an authentic feel. You never get the sense that Rory is trying to imitate higher profile musicians either. He sings in his own voice, letting his naturally rich tones and unpretentious world view seep into each track.

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