“If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it” goes the old axiom and, in Ian M Bailey’s case he certainly adheres to it. A veritable one man band, Bailey has just about cornered the market in revitalised California inspired jangled pop and rock over the past couple of years and You Paint The Pictures reinforces this, albeit with more nods to the trippier side of LA than on his previous album Songs To Dream Along To.
Once again Bailey has co-written all of the songs with Glasgow’s Daniel Wylie, the pair seeming to be in, a word which has recently become all too familiar, lockstep. And, as before, their collaboration comes up with golden nuggets such as on the sunshine rays of Life Without You which is just about as perfect a candied California pop confection as one could wish for. In fact, several of the songs here inhabit a similar terrain with jangled guitar and heavenly harmonies coalescing as on Change Is Easy and I Wanted The Sun To Shine while I Don’t Want To Start Again zones into mid sixties Gene Clark territory and does so brilliantly.
The trippier aspect looms large on the instrumental The Year Of The Tiger, a mobius strip like repetition channelling The Doors with its groovy organ pulse while Brazil, a Mondo Hollywood like loose limbed slinky affair really should come accompanied by psychedelic lighting and painted go-go dancers being ogled by Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda. However, it’s the mini epic Dreams Of Love which really takes all of the honours here as Bailey wanders, wide eyed, through a psychedelic mindscape peopled by the likes of David Crosby and Curt Boettcher, creating a truly impressive trip of a song. Sure enough, You Paint The Pictures is coloured by the past, but Bailey and Wylie bring that past bang up to date with a super high definition fidelity. It’s a gorgeous listen.
Buy You Paint The Pictures here