Wild Imagination

Wild Imagination

by Sweet Baboo


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Wild Imagination

Welsh singer/songwriter Stephen Black returns with more of his whimsical indie pop fare on Wild Imagination, his sixth album as Sweet Baboo. It features the more refined production of 2015's The Boombox Ballads and is a response of sorts to the turmoil of events in 2016. Thinking of his two-year-old son during the making of the record, and wanting to provide some form of tonic for the times in a way that he could, he made the deliberate decision to keep things optimistic on Wild Imagination (its working title was Positive Recordings). Inspired by the introduction to the Beach Boys' "California Girls," the album opens with the brief horn instrumental "The Gardener," arranged by Boombox Ballads collaborator Paul Jones. (Instrumental synth interlude "The Night Gardener" appears later.) The bright title track then kicks in with strummed guitars, playfully retro keyboard tones, and syncopated clave. A message to his son, its lyrics include "I see you crying/I'll lift you up towards the edge of the moon/Pretend you are flying/And when we blast off we'll be singing this tune." Featuring Casio and theremin-like tones, the more wistful "Badminton" has him counting his blessings, while "Pink Rainbow" drops Nile Rodgers-esque funk into a trippy, paper-doll universe of drum samples, vintage organs, and synths ("Here's two train tickets, let's go/It's full of coal and runs on romance"). Themes of travel also mark the psychedelic ballad "Californ-i-a" and "Hold On," motivated by the joy of returning home from a tour. A balance of playful and earnest, Wild Imagination's warm melodies, affectionate tone, and quirky charm may provide needed respite even in good times.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/09/2017
Label: Imports
UPC: 5060164955320
catalogNumber: 5047900
Rank: 159876

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