Would-Be-Goods - Eventyr

matcd047  /  October 2008
Would-Be-Goods - Eventyr
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Would-Be-Goods - Eventyr

matcd047  /  October 2008

Highly anticipated fifth album ‘Eventyr’ from revered London quartet Would-Be-Goods is released 20 years after the classic debut album ‘The Camera Loves Me’ on ‘80s cult label èl Records. It is their third album for Matinée, after the well received ‘Brief Lives’ (2002) and ‘The Morning After’ (2004).

“Sad stories are more beautiful” sings Jessica Griffin on the opening track, and those words could be the motto for the album as most of its songs are inspired by folk tales—timeless archetypal stories composed in northern Europe in the 19th century. ‘Eventyr’, meaning ‘adventures’ or ‘fairy tales’, was the title of Hans Christian Andersen's classic collection of stories, and in songs such as ‘Melusine’ and ‘Heart of Tin’, the Would-Be-Goods show that tales of imagination can evoke the joys and sorrows of life more vividly than dreary realism. Some of the songs stay closer to home: ‘In Bohemia’, ‘The Girl at No. 7’ and ‘The Ghost of Mr. Minton’ depict the arty low life of midcentury London to magnificent effect. Musically, though, ‘Eventyr’ is not a folk album: the songs distill ‘50s and ‘60s styles into something entirely new, traveling through baroque pop, bossanova and rockabilly.

The album was developed slowly over two years and sees Andy Warren—formerly of Adam and the Ants and The Monochrome Set and bass player on the first two Would-Be-Goods albums—return to join Debbie Green on drums and backing vocals, Peter Momtchiloff on lead guitar, and Jessica on lead vocals and guitar.

Another classic album from a band that never goes out of style!

  1. Sad Stories
  2. The Ghost Of Mr. Minton
  3. In Bohemia
  4. The Girl At No. 7
  5. Venusberg
  6. Melusine
  7. Heart of Tin
  8. Pleasure Island
  9. Temporary Best Friend
  10. Baby Romaine
  11. Subtle Charm
  12. Enemies of Promise
  13. A Professor Momtchiloff Mystery


The Would-be-Goods remain, fundamentally, a class act. And so "Eventyr" = deftly-delivered stories, well written, never overlong pop songs, sweetened with regency flourishes, adding another under-feted album to a pretty shimmering catalogue of them, this being their fifth (and third on the mighty Matinée Recordings). When we think of quality lyricism now, it's invariably from acts who operate in the wordier media of rap or grime, the ones who can be both dextrous and thought-provoking: Taskforce, of course, but also the Chubby Alcoholic, Cappo, even Ghetto on his day ("Commandments", for example, was a good day). So it's wonderful, when listening to this little stunner, to be as bowled over by the words as by the music. We can't help but simply repeat the words we used when we wrote about their Matinée debut, "Brief Lives" six years ago: "the elegance of jessica griffin's writing... romantic with a capital R, and tender to a T... pretty impressive stuff. The sound of serendipity at work." Should have been singles: Sad Stories, Temporary Best Friend, Enemies of Promise, The Girl At Number 7.   --In Love With These Times (Albums of the Year)
Some of my favourite pop bands have released new albums this year, like The Lucksmiths and Would-Be-Goods. The latter's Eventyr nearly breached my top 15 of this year's best albums. It's a brilliant album, as any new material from Jessica Griffin's pen is bound to be. It's also a big event as it's now been four years since The Morning After spoiled our collective ear. It would have come as a complete surprise as well, had it not been for the uncommonly tasty taster "Temporary Best Friend" that we heard on The Matinée Hit Parade, and now features on the album as its best song (and one of the best in the band's whole catalogue actually). I've been keen to get Would-Be-Goods over to Sweden to play ever since putting on another band that Pete Momtchiloff plays in - Bid's mysterious Scarlet's Well outfit - last year. He seemed very enthusiastic, so it was saddening not being to able to help them out when they finally made it over to Sweden for the first time earlier this year. And I couldn't even go see them up in Stockholm! I'll console myself by playing Eventyr on these dark winter evenings, letting myself be drawn into its beguiling atmosphere of swinging chandeliers and fading Edwardian tapestries. Eventyr is Danish for adventure, and I'm not surprised to read that it's the name of a H.C. Andersen anthology. Several of the songs have an almost Grimm-like air and it's easy to see similarities with Scarlet's Well, whom Momtchiloff is now contributing songs for as well as Would-Be-Goods. They cannot lose Griffin's unique mark however, and even though Momtchiloff wrote "Temporary Best Friend", some of my other favourites on the album like the opening classic "Sad Stories", "Melusine" which is playing in the sidebar here, and the lilting "Baby Romaine" are all Griffin's compositions. Bass player Andy Warren also joins the game with the closing track "A Professor Momtchiloff Mystery", which could've been The Monochrome Set's "Andy Leaps In". Warren once played in The Monochrome Set along with Lester Square, you see, which probably makes him Jessica's most enduring band partner since her backing band on both the él-released The Camera Loves Me and Mondo were the then-disbanded Monochrome Set. That leaves drummer Deborah Green as the only non-contributing member, but considering her past in Thee Headcoatees I think she could really add something to the band's appeal if she tried. Any excuse for another album! Or at least some more gigs. Perhaps they'll come to Auckland... and we'll all live happily ever after.   --Heaven Is Above Your Head
Guitarist Pete Momtchiloff is, without a shadow of a doubt, a local music legend. As part of Here Comes Everybody, Talulah Gosh and Heavenly, he is one of the local scene’s godfathers. These days he plays with local francophile popstrels Les Clochards and in Jessica Griffin’s long-running Would-Be-Goods, where he’s joined by former-Monochrome Set drummer Andy Warren and Thee Headcoatees bassist Deborah Green. It’s an indie underground pedigree that never disappoints in the twee jangle-pop stakes, Pete often revisiting his mid-80s heyday on tracks like ‘Temporary Best Friend’, or providing an elegant surf shimmer on ‘The Ghost Of Mr Minton’. Still, twenty years on from their debut single, The Would-Be-Goods is still very much the Jessica Griffin show. These days the playful whimsy is replaced with a more reflective, stoical melancholy, the musical equivalent of a lovelorn European heiress gazing through net curtains, sighing at the rest of the world outside having fun. These are love songs and lost love songs, but sung from a distinctly world-weary point of view. Occasionally, it feels like being lectured to about heartache by a well-meaning aunt, and the band dips too long into a languid comfort zone towards the middle of the album, but when it works, it’s completely charming, Jessica’s clipped, received English pronunciation a rare joy in contemporary pop, and on ‘Sad Stories’ in particular she can sound like a lighter, more chipper Nico (if such a thing were possible). There is still some playfulness to be had, although the ennui of ‘Baby Romaine’ – with its none-too-subtle steal from Blondie’s ‘In The Flesh’ – is the highlight here. As the 80s indie kids grow up, so their lives and stories change. Whether or not many of the class of 1987 are still listening to obscure jangle bands is anyone’s guess; more likely most of them are too up to their ears in mortgages and nappies to find the time. But for those romantic nostalgists left behind The Would-Be-Goods offer succour and sweet home comfort.   --Nightshift Magazine
Would-be-Goods skirt around and underneath the scene like some kind of elegant swan. Or at least a very clean Canadian goose. 'Eventyr' is their fifth album, and it's delightfully understated. And there are holes in these songs. Holes for them to breathe. Where before maybe the band have gone full-throttle down pop avenue, with 'Eventyr' there's time to really explore Would-be-Goods. The album starts with the typical pop rattle of stuff like Sad Stories and The Girl at Number 7 - but in between there are songs like In Bohemia (in which, okay, Jessica Griffin sounds like she's singing "Oh, bulimia!"), and the stunning, fragile Venusberg which is by far the strongest track here. Elsewhere, Melusine sounds a little like early Morrissey, and whilst Pleasure Island isn't about the theme park in Cleethorpes, it's very nearly as much fun, whilst Temporary Best Friend is sophisticated pop fun at its very best. What makes this an album you'd like to sleep with on the first date is that there's nothing else around like Would-be-Goods. They aren't Swedish. They don't want to sound like a Jesus and Mary Chain b-side. They don't have beards. They're unique, and they're yours and they're mine.   --A Layer of Chips
Like much of the Would-Be-Goods' discography, Eventyr feels distinguished, well-mannered, and adroit. It almost feels like the predominant aesthetic is Britishness -- and it's not just because frontwoman Jessica Griffin's warm, precise vocals are graced with a distinct Received Pronunciation accent. There's a kind of fogginess to their sound, a kind of stiff-upper-lip-ness, a kind of stereotypical British soft-spokenness. This is especially true of this release, if only because it's so unabashedly tactful, well-kempt, and refined. Eventyr is styled in dramatic, mysterious, '60s-inspired pop that nods to the Left Banke (especially on "Melusine"), Mortimer, and the Turtles; Eventyr ranges from Baroque pop-inspired elegance ("In Bohemia"), to jangley, C-86-style pop ("Temporary Best Friend"), to monologue-style songs that wouldn't be out of place at a cabaret ("Venusberg"). Cabaret is a good touchstone here, as the songs often feel like tableaux -- you get a sense that things are staged, and that each song has a set of props and characters ("Venusberg," "In Bohemia," "Pleasure Island"). This stylized, theatrical feel is only accentuated by the numerous literary allusions ("Tin Heart" is a reference to Hans Christian Anderson's Steadfast Tin Soldier). The whole thing has an atmosphere of half-grinning mystery and intrigue -- in its intelligence and wry sense of humor, Eventyr often has the feel of a series of Edward Gorey drawings. At its best, this approach yields some languid, mysterious pop tunes. "Temporary Best Friend" offers a refreshing departure from the theatrical material -- it's by and large the best offering here, a perfect blend of shambly guitars and Griffin's wry, melancholy vocals.   --All Music Guide
it’s no secret that the would-be-goods are card-carrying members of the chickfactor family. we adore them. and we’ve had the honor and the privilege of taking their photographs for recent album covers such as brief lives, the morning after and emmanuelle béart. the london/oxford pop group has now just returned with their fifth long-player, eventyr, and it sounds as fab as all their others. we just got to hear some of it live at the bull & gate in our beloved london a couple weeks back (jessica was rocking an electric guitar).   --Chickfactor
The Would-Be-Goods have been around for 20 years, but have only really been prolific over the last few years, with 'Eventyr' being their 5th long player and their 3rd since teaming up with hip indie-pop label, Matinée in the early noughties. Whilst it is probably true to suggest that there has been no real progression in their music, it is certainly true to say that this is very much a plus point. Jessica Griffin’s vocals are delivered in a posh ‘home counties’ way, similar to indie icon Amelia Fletcher, which again is a good thing, while the music is three parts typical C-86 jangle with the odd deviation into more jazzy areas such as on the ace instrumental final track ‘A Professor Momtchiloff Mystery’ and one part New Seekers-style 60s pop. 'Eventyr' means ‘fairy tales’ or ‘adventures’ and some of the songs on the record certainly have a story telling edge, such as the classic 'In Bohemia' conjuring up images lost days in bygone Italy, the burlesque sounding 'Venusberg' or the unnerving ‘Pleasure Island’.. Opener, ‘Sad Stories’ and bouncy ‘Temporary Best Friend’ are pure gold pop, while ‘Melusine’ has a haunting yet disarming quality, with the word Morrissey somehow coming to mind… As good as anything before it, ‘Enemies of Promise’ is a fine way for Jessica to sign off, before veteran of many a cult indie band, Peter Momtchiloff, takes centre stage on the aforementioned final instrumental song. Would-Be-Goods have failed to live up to their name and should consider reforming immediately as Actually-Pretty-Damn-Good.   --Pennyblack Magazine
Twenty years after their debut “The Camera Loves Me”, Would-Be-Goods have released their 5th album, and their 3rd on Matinée Recordings. “Eventyr” is the title, inspired by the Danish fairy tale writer HC Andersen, both in the title itself and in the lyrics of several songs. “Eventyr” means “fairy tale” in Danish/Norwegian, and for me as a Norwegian, the title was quite surprising and amusing. So, how do I like the album? It’s another good one from Would-be-goods. “Eventyr” is filled with wonderful, bittersweet, warm and intelligent pop songs, with lyrics that may be looked upon as small fairy tales on their own. The vocals of Jessica Griffin are just as beautiful as before and her pronunciation is just as precise. The songs are great throughout the album, with “Heart of Tin” as my definite favourite, and “In Bohemia”, “Venusberg”, “Temporary Best Friend” and “Enemies of Promise” coming close. This is a must-have, and so are all the other Would-Be-Goods albums. Buy now!   --Eardrums
Londoner Jessica Griffin has helmed twee pop outfit the Would-Be-Goods since the late ‘80s, when the band made a minor splash in the British pop world with a handful of singles and one critically acclaimed full-length, The Camera Loves Me, on the influential (if commercially unsuccessful) el records. Like that label, the Would-Be-Goods have failed to garner anything more than a modest following in the ensuing years—a fact no doubt partly due to a nine-year gap between albums from 1993 to 2002. When the Would-Be-Goods returned in 2002 with Brief Lives on Matinée Recordings, it was met with widespread appreciation from critics, if not record buyers. The Would-Be-Goods have undergone several line-up changes over the years, and is currently comprised of Griffin, guitarist Peter Momtchiloff (Heavenly and Talulah Gosh), drummer Deborah Green (thee Headcoatees), and bassist Andy Warren (Adam and the Ants and the Monochrome Set). Not surprisingly, the heavily pedigreed quartet is plenty competent, and Eventyr, released late last year, is it’s most muscular and full-sounding album to date. It’s a shame so few people will hear it. Yet, you get the feeling the Would-Be-Goods don’t mind the obscurity. Given Griffin’s exceedingly genteel—even snobbish—vocal delivery, it may be true that the Would-Be-Goods would regard adoration from the unwashed masses as a bit unseemly. Articulating her lyrics in perfect Received Pronunciation, Griffin flaunts her refinement. It’s no doubt a big reason why her fans love her. Subtle and sophisticated, she aims her art at the inverse of the lowest common denominator. On Eventyr, Griffin employs her smart, seductive voice to tell stories culled from mid-19th century Europe. But the themes—love, loss, sin, and vanity, to name a few—are timeless. Meanwhile, her band sounds as if it could craft a catchy three-minute pop tune in its sleep. While scintillating verse-chorus-verse power pop is the Would-Be-Good’s stock in trade, the band has no problem changing things up for a sultry bit of bossa nova ("Venusberg"), gypsy-inspired balladry ("Melusine"), or jaunty, baroque pop ("The Ghost of Mr. Minton"). Its finest moments, though, are when Griffin’s enchantingly urbane storytelling is backed by sugar-rush pop, such as on album-opener “Sad Stories” and the irresistibly jangly “Temporary Best Friend”.   --Pop Matters
There’s a quiet reserve about Would-Be-Goods frontwoman and chief composer Jessica Griffin that’s always intrigued, and almost always threatened to spill over into a primordial mish-mash of emotional battery and instrumental madness. Isn’t that the threat we want realised with every band dealing in twee (not a dirty word)? Picture a sudden outburst where specs are flung across the sweaty floor into, where the support band’s distortion pedal is stolen and plugged the fuck in, where abandon is cherished over poise and beauty… but it’ll never happen, and that’s the everlasting appeal of the genre. That it might happen one day is enough to keep listeners listening, poring over every hushed word in the hope that one of them might be “COCK” or something, imagining the smoky evocations and interpersonal minutiae with detail to spare. For all Griffin’s skill at this, it is guitarist Peter Momtchiloff who makes the most smouldering contribution, and Eventyr’s first highlight. In Bohemia is a cheeky character portrait of slight menace and sexual advances. The wormy basslines (courtesy of returning bassist Andy Warren) and cheeky organ mask the murk of a none-too-shy French teacher and the ease with which one can become embroiled in unsavoury affairs. As Griffin cooes, “I was happy there, but it couldn’t last…”. It’s expertly executed stuff, and terribly entertaining. This aside, the majority of Eventyr relies on similar feats of cheek masking murk, and the considerable charm of Griffin’s potential to give in and shriek. But that’s not going to happen, remember? Musically, the record does little (in fact, probably nothing) to advance the Would-Be-Goods’ cause. The occasional bossa beat or jazz ride cymbal will convince no new fans to join the fold, and while the band remain resolute in their determination to stay in second gear sonically this is not a situation open to change. The real meat and intrigue lies in the lyrics and hardly anywhere else. For some artists, the popular song is a challenging framework, the limits of which must be explored and occasionally breached, and for others it is a vehicle of ultimate expression - a logical and functional way to make your poems sound nicer than your speaking voice. And if your poems sound like those of the Would-Be-Goods and your voice is that of Jessica Griffin, you could do quite a lot worse. So it never erupts. It never threatens to take of its coat and rough you up. No specs are broken, no drinks spilt. Eventyr just is, and that’s all it needs to be. Eventyr is out now! Whee!   --Pop Musicology
Old school indie with perfectly pitched pronunciation from former members of Adam & The Ants, Thee Headcoats and The Monochrome Set. With a name inspired by the 1899 adventure story by children's author E. Nesbit and a love of the 1960s, expect fifth album 'Eventyr' (Danish for adventure or fairy tale) to be loaded up with intelligent homages to the best pop of the 1960s.   --The Devil Has The Best Tuna
The very talented Jessica Griffin and her fine cast of fellow Would-Be-Goods have returned with "Eventyr". I must admit, I haven't listened to many of their newer songs, but I am certain they exude the same elegance and sophistication as the songs from "The Camera Loves Me". It's hard to believe I only heard The Would-Be-Goods for the first time late last year - since then, I've fallen very hard for all those literate pop songs Jessica and her sister did with the Monochrome Set in the late 1980s. Anyway, no doubt I'll be impressed - it's hard not to be when your band features former members of Heavenly and Thee Headcoatees!   --Alex Loves You and Your Silly Pop Songs
Britain’s would-be-goods chose Eventyr, meaning adventures or fairy tales, as the title for their 5th album as an apt way to describe their dreamy, indie sound. With the friendly and inviting rhythms, along with breezy vocals and light melodies, you’d swear you’ve heard this music before. Kind of like a musical deja vu. And it has nothing to do with the fact that bassist Andy Warren used to run with Adam and the Ants and the Monochrome Set. It has more to do with the way Jessica Griffin sings her fables with a sugary sweet, yet plaintive, everywoman’s voice that sounds eerily similar to the vocals of Ivy, The New Pornographers Pomegranates, Saint Etienne, The Mendoza Line, Yesan Damen and other indie-pop bands of this ilk. And while would-be-goods are also somewhat similar to those bands musically, they are also quite different. Their sound is more sweetbitter, as opposed to bittersweet, since it’s the candied vocals and wispy melodies that you’re hit with first. Underneath the confectionery coating is a more caustic temperament revealed by the lyrics and the underlying indie guitar chords. This is exemplified by the opener “Sad Stories” where the quick chord changes, slick melodies and catchy guitar leads pump up Griffin as she sings “Sad stories are more beautiful, so let me tell you mine”. Other highlights include “The Girl At No.7″ with a snappy 60’s-ish rockabilly hook and ooh-ing backing vocals and “Pleasure Island” with an ultra-catchy, bouncy rhythm and crafty electric guitar picking.   --Delusions of Adequacy
Eventyr means fairytales or adventures and is also the fifth album from Would-Be-Goods. Jessica Griffin has an arty, cool as anything voice, and shows it off delightfully on lead track Sad Stories, a headrush of indie pop. It has elements of Nico to it, in this case if she was reborn as a C86 pop idol. The Ghost Of Mr Minton exists as if it was in a supper club in Victorian Britain, mysterious and beguiling. In Bohemia reminds you of Stereolab at their most upbeat while The Girl At Number 7 is a brief classic girl lead indie, a bit like Heavenly. Venusberg is well matured pop, effortless and with a Gallic tinge and Melusine carries on in a similar vein. Again we find that Heart of Tin, with its minimal guitar backing and aloof icy vocals, is very much a softer Velvet Underground and Nico. Pleasure Island has a Johnny Cash rattling rhythm, but also a delightfully driven pop bent that cannot be denied. Baby Romaine is another example of carefully laid back continental cool pop, Jessica’s icy vocals topping it off nicely. Enemies Of Promise has medieval sounding keys, but is still the same great studied pop before the album ties things up by going through the motions with A Professor Momtchiloff Mystery.   --Russell’s Reviews
I've been reading The Towers of Trebizond. It made me think of The Would-Be-Goods: a terribly English protagonist in exotic climes. Jessica Griffin has done a fair bit of globe-trotting, lyrically (and in actuality, for all I know). Melusine is the tale of a different kind of fish out of water, from their new album, Eventyr. You can (and should) buy it.   --Rararabbits
Vingt ans après ses glorieux débuts sur El Records, la chanteuse Jessica Griffin n'a, à l'évidence, rien perdu de sa candeur. Construit comme la carrière du groupe, en forme de montagnes russes, ce cinquième album des Would-Be-Goods nous plonge à nouveau dans ce Londres fantaisiste et psychédélique où plane encore par endroit le parfum sucré et mutin d'Emma Peel. "Eventyr" (du nom d'un conte d'Andersen, mais aussi d'un poème symphonique pour orchestre de Frederick Delius) invite à arpenter la ville comme d'autres traversent un miroir : en la réinventant. De la légende de Mélusine aux fantômes ("The Ghost of Mr. Minton"), sans oublier la chevauchée de licornes ("Venusberg"), Jessica Griffin enchaîne les chansons comme on tourne les pages d'un recueil de contes merveilleux, sans pour autant jamais user des clichés musicaux ni des ambiances artificielles dans lesquelles on enferme trop souvent le genre. Porté par une formation pop classique et minimale (guitare, piano, basse et batterie), l'album semble d'ailleurs avoir été enregistré dans l'arrière salle d'un pub, plutôt que dans un château de légende. Dès les premières notes de "Sad Stories", on sait que le ton de l'album sera plus terre-à-terre qu'onirique : les histoires tristes sont souvent les plus belles, chante à raison Jessica - surtout lorsqu'elles ont, comme leur chanteuse, le talent de faire danser. Avec cet esprit gentiment bossa qui traverse l'album de part en part, "Eventyr" aurait pourtant rapidement pu tourner en rond. Heureusement, le disque est bref et se concentre sur l'essentiel, les mélodies, en excluant toute possibilité de temps mort. De The Beautiful South à Camera Obscura, il n'est d'ailleurs pas difficile de voir l'influence que les Would-Be-Goods ont pu avoir sur l'indie pop britannique de ces vingt dernières années, tant dans la construction des mélodies que dans la manière de les interpréter. On ne remerciera dès lors jamais assez Jessica Griffin d'avoir renoncé au monde des affaires de la City, sans quoi nous n'aurions jamais pu écouter en boucle "In Bohemia", clé de voûte de ce nouvel album et condensé rayonnant d'une carrière sans faux-pas.   --Pop News
La vorágine de novedades que ha traído toda la tecnología de este nuevo siglo hace que cada vez se preste menos atención a muchas novedades que quedan sepultadas entre la avalancha de nuevos discos que llegan a nosotros cada semana. Cada vez resulta más complicado señalar fechas destacadas en un calendario que tiene todos sus días marcados por nuevos trabajos, sin embargo con el tiempo hemos aprendido a aguardar con impaciencia la llegada de ese día especial que trae otra vez con nosotros las nuevas canciones de alguna de esas bandas o artistas que guardamos con especial cariño en la memoria. Would-Be-Goods, o lo que es lo mismo, Jessica Griffin, llevan señalando fechas señaladas en nuestro calendario desde hace casi veinte años. Pero lo hace a su manera, con esa discreción reservada tan solo para aquellos dotados de una clase superior. Ello ha llevado a que pese a una larga ausencia sin noticias hasta que Matinée Recordings la rescatara del olvido para nosotros, Would-Be-Goods hayan estado siempre presentes. Es por esta razón que en los últimos tiempos no hayamos parado de maravillarnos ante la fecundidad artística de uno de nuestros grupos favoritos de siempre, y es que tres imprescindibles Lp’s en poco más de seis años es mucho más de lo que hubiéramos podido soñar. La reciente publicación de Eventyr, el tercer trabajo largo para Matinée del cuarteto británico, se produce después de sufrir un verdadero noqueo emocional con Brief Lives y The Morning After, y supone una de las mejores noticias del año. Fanáticos como somos de la música de Would-Be-Goods hemos de confesar que recibimos cada nuevo trabajo del grupo con el ánimo de indagar en él poco a poco, hasta que nuestra curiosidad queda totalmente colmada. Es así como nada más caer en nuestras manos un ejemplar de Eventyr empezábamos a conjeturar sin descanso en base a lo que teníamos en nuestro poder y a la información que a nosotros llegaba, antes incluso de poner el disco en la bandeja de reproducción. Para cualquier interesado en la música de Jessica Griffin llama de inmediato la atención el diseño elegido para la ocasión, un disco de Would-Be-Goods siempre ha supuesto desde sus primeros trabajos para él Records una foto de nuestra protagonista en portada, es así como cada cierto tiempo nos hemos ido reencontrando con Jessica sin que el tiempo pareciera restar encanto a su rostro. Sin embargo Eventyr trae con nosotros un cambio radical en la temática, con una portada protagonizada por una amazona a caballo que parece sacada de otro tiempo, mientras que en contraportada e interior de carpeta encontramos motivos que nos recuerdan sin remedio a los Scarlet’s Well de Bid, lo que nos lleva a pensar si este cambio será un mero capricho o también tendrá su reflejo en la música de un cuarteto que trae con nosotros una novedad respecto al último disco, la reincorporación a la banda de Andy Warren, ex-Monochrome Set y bajista de Would-Be-Goods en sus dos primeros Lp’s. Con la lógica expectación del que aprecia ciertas señales que anuncian cambio iniciamos la exploración de Eventyr con Sad Stories, pieza que encaja a la perfección en el repertorio más netamente Pop del grupo, el tema arranca de manera trepidante gracias a una intensa sección rítmica a la que pronto se une la preciosa voz de Jessica Griffin, Sad Stories no afloja en ningún momento, alcanzando su clímax en ese perfecto estribillo que se dedica a convencernos de la belleza de las historias tristes. La primera impresión es la de estar ante los Would-Be-Goods más recientes, sin embargo la reposada The Ghost Of Mr. Minton nos traslada doblemente al pasado gracias a una historia de otra época y un sonido que hubiera encajado perfectamente en los tiempos del memorable The Camera Loves Me, estando presente aquí la clase que caracterizó aquel disco. In Bohemia ahonda en el pasado mostrando una alta expresividad en una letra perfectamente acoplada a un sonido que aún siendo plenamente actual muestra guiños al folk con un añejo teclado que se repetirá en otros pasajes del disco. The Girl At Number 7 vuelve a recordarnos, lo que siempre es bueno, a los primeros tiempos de la banda, mientras que Venusberg es un gustoso acercamiento a los sonidos latinos. Llegados a este punto empezamos a recapitular dándonos cuenta de que Eventyr parece estar convirtiéndose en un compendio de todos los discos pasados Would-Be-Goods, resultando fácil identificar ambientes que caracterizaron a cada uno de los trabajos anteriores. Melusine sigue por esa senda que nos muestra las múltiples caras que tiene el sonido del grupo, esta vez gracias a una guitarra que nos transporta décadas atrás, cuando el rock conquistaba su lugar en la música popular, tiempo en el que el rockabilly que inspira Pleasure Island se encargaba de animar las noches de todos los jóvenes. Temporary Best Friend (composición de Peter Momtchiloff) se encarga junto a Baby Romaine de serenar los ánimos, la primera devolviéndonos a Would-Be-Goods centrándose en facturar brillantes composiciones Pop, Baby Romaine en forma de precioso medio tiempo que para muchos será gracias a su serenidad en pieza favorita del álbum. Aunque para serenidad la de la minimalista Heart Of Tin, pasada por alto en favor de la inmediatez de casi todos los cortes aquí presentes, Heart Of Tin en cambio apuesta por otorgar todo su protagonismo a la voz de Jessica y los coros de Deborah Green, acompañadas aquí por las tímidas notas de una guitarra. Restando en esto momento encarar la recta final de Eventyr con tres temas de personalidad bien distinta; Subtle Charm es puro Would-Be-Goods, Enemies Of Promise es una buena muestra de lo sencillo que le resulta a Peter Momtchiloff crear canciones de efecto inmediato, recordándonos su fantástico estribillo la capacidad melódica que poseían cualquiera de sus anteriores aventuras musicales (Heavenly, Marine Research…), finalmente la instrumental A Professor Momtchiloff Mystery se encarga de cerrar el disco y corre a cargo de Andy Warren, viniendo a nuestra memoria con su escucha algunas series de televisión en las que no hubiera desentonado como banda sonora. Eventyr nos devuelve a Would-Be-Goods en plena forma, después de todo el tiempo pasado desde que escuchamos por primera vez las canciones de Jessica Griffin nos damos cuenta de que no han cambiado tantas cosas desde entonces, y lo que es más importante, que no echamos en falta ninguna sorpresa inesperada en la música de una banda que ha ido enriqueciendo sin descanso sus canciones, logrando crear un sonido propio más allá de modas pasajeras. Pero quizás el mayor logro de Eventyr sea el de poder ser considerado un disco para todos los públicos, el seguidor habitual de la banda encontrará aquí un disco que seguro le convencerá, pero más importante todavía, Eventyr puede funcionar perfectamente como primera toma de contacto para aquel que quiera descubrir el mundo y música de Would-Be-Goods.   --360º de Separación
Qualche giorno fa sul sito della Matinée é uscito un comunicato stampa da commuoversi: un nuovo disco dei Would-be-Goods. Tanti anni fa inciampai sul loro The Camera Loves Me, datato 1988, e me ne innamorai perdutamente. E' quel pop troppo educato e composto e soprattutto elegante per essere catalogato C86, anche se gli anni erano quelli e gli ascolti pure. La perfezione dei ritornelli a metà tra bossa rockabilly e pop anni 50, il sound impolverato, quella voce femminile con una pronuncia severa mi fecero impazzire, e ancora oggi capita qualche volta che la domenica non riesca ad alzarmi senza ascoltare almeno una volta Cecil Beaton Scrapbook. Il nuovo album si chiama Eventyr ed é uscito per Matinée il 28 Ottobre. Ci sono già un paio di tracce nuove ascoltabili sul myspace, e mi sembra che la mira al cuore di Jessica Griffin e soci sia sempre perfetta.   --Frigopop!