Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Album: Christopher Holland

Everything You Can Imagine Is Real (Cosmic Harmony Records)

All those years watching famous big brother Jools tickle the ivories on the front room's baby grand have finally paid off for Christopher Holland.

The younger Holland plays like the older - and sings uncannily like Jools' former Squeeze colleague Glen Tilbrook.



And if 2005's Butterfly Effect was the showing-plenty-of-promise album, Everything You can Imagine is Real is the finally stepping-out-of-sibling's-shadow record. The world is definitely Christopher Holland's oyster.



Everything You Can Imagine Is Real is packed full of consummately crafted infectious tunes.



Holland, helped by Hummingbird's honey-voiced Edwina Hayes, mixes up bouncy summery pop with laid-back country and exquisite less effervescent numbers such as Rhythm of Life.



Like Squeeze's Tilbrook and Difford he's also gifted in the quirky songwriting department. Mother Nature is a prime example with its 'you've gotta be a part of it not apart from it'.



Musically, you can hear influences such as John Lennon and Neil Young. And Where Did Love Go? has all the sugar sweetness of the Monkees' Daydream Believer.



Holland's extensive use of instrumentation is impressive: on one track, the gorgeously textured Love Is, you get the piano, accordion, mandolin, mellotron, flutes and triangle.



Consequently, Everything You Can Imagine Is Real has a real warm feeling throughout.



You really cannot help but like the record - it's feel-good from start to finish with not a bad track in sight.



The only criticism is that Holland has, for reasons best known to himself, included two songs Falling and White Stripe (a dead ringer for Neil Young's Don't Let It Bring You Down) that were on the last album Butterfly Effect.

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