Obviously, we’ve picked out just the nicest things people have said, and we’ve also somewhat optimistically tried to translate a couple from the original French and German. Apologies for any poor translations, especially the line about the “cat in front of the fireplace” which is probably a hopeless misunderstanding! Anyway, here goes...
"Excellent indie pop on second album from thoughtful London-based group, Pocketbooks. The album as a whole is laced with fine orchestration ranging from the strings on the aforementioned 'Promises, Promises' to the lovely piano led 'The Sky at Night' and 'Harbour Lights'."
"'Carousel' is an absolute winner. These 10 tales are full of the wide-eyed abandon of being young, in love and with the world at your feet and the rest of your life to explore it. Pocketbooks have created a thoughtful, uplifting album that sets them apart from many of their contemporaries simply by the quality of their songs."
The Sound of Confusion
"At its best, Pocketbooks' Carousel is catchy indie pop of finger clicking proportions. Indie pop tones, interweaving melodies, poetic lyrics and the heart of a romantic storyteller."
"As you listen to stories and tales expertly woven alongside the lovely tuneful accompaniments it becomes an enjoyable 40 minute ride. "Promises Promises" is one of the best things you are likely to hear this year and if it doesn't get your feet tapping as a bare minimum then I suggest a visit to your GP is due. It's an indiepop dancefloor smash, kids! On "Sound of The Carnival" [Emma’s] melodic voice soars high amongst the stars and you find yourself flying amongst the clouds with gay abandon."
"Telling tales of heady months picking apples, visits to the cinema and lost love, Carousel forms a soundtrack to the perfect teenage summer. If what you're after is wholesome fun pop amid an avalanche of clever songs (some happy, some sad) then you could do a lot worse than these 11-tracks of shimmering fun."
"A gem of a pop album. With Andy Hudson's twinkling keyboard and Emma Hall's amazing, crystal clear voice to the fore. And this time everything's backed up by some perky strings. It's pleasing to see a band can move on without losing any of their pop sensibilities."
A Layer Of Chips
"A DELIGHT from start to finish. As usual with this lot it's a bouncy pop word-filled thrill ride, but with a marked UPPING on the Production side of things. The lyrics have blossomed into a kind of POINTED DELICACY that mark them out as a style unique."
"Ein großes Pop-Album. Wenn es Dich aber erst einmal erreicht hat, nistet es sich ein, macht es sich gemütlich wie die Katze auf der Decke hinterm Ofen."
[A great pop album. The first time you hear it, it makes you feel as comfortable as a cat at home in front of the fireplace.]
Gutes Hören Ist Wichtig
"Even when the subject matter remains tied to its harkening solitariness, the music itself is surprisingly perky and maintains a real energy throughout."
"Further listens allowed the real beauty, depth and craftsmanship of both the song-writing and the execution to reveal themselves. I was drawn in so tight that it started to hurt. Suffice to say that ‘Carousel’ is an exceptional album and is now playing more frequently than its predecessor ever managed, which I didn’t think would ever be possible."
"Des mélodies simples et fines. Deux voix, l'une féminine, l'autre masculine, douces et légères. Un piano évoquant les vieilles comédies musicales américaines d'autrefois. Des violons discrets et soyeux. Si vous cherchiez un album de pop léger et sans prétention, qui fait pensivement bouger la tête et les pieds en vous nettoyant le cerveau, inutile de chercher plus loin, vous aurez du mal à trouver mieux..."
[Simple and delicate melodies. Soft and light male and female voices. A piano evoking the old American musicals of the past. Discrete and silky violins. If you‘re looking for a light and unpretentious pop album, that thoughtfully gets your head and your feet moving and cleanses your head, look no further, you will not find better ...]
Dans Le Mur... Du Son
"Every track oozes with delirious charm, conjuring images of cinematic summer days, all free-wheeling tandems, hands holding hands on park benches and the dizzy falling into new love. Even when lamenting life’s losses, there is joy to be found in the details – the inherent poetry found in coupling the vast expanse and the minutiae of everyday experience."
Old Fridges Can Kill
"What, essentially, you’ve got in Carousel is a gem of a pop album. If you want to force me to pick a favourite, then it’d have to be Promises, Promises; a flurry of bright harmonies and fast pacing set by the sweeping violins, singer Emma Hall’s lovely shining vocals and bittersweet lyrics about casual promises that never materialise."
"Beautifully crafted tunes which ooze melodies. Rarely does an album evoke such lovely times, it could easily soundtrack those relaxing lazy summer days or in fact the ethos of the Indietracks music festival. Wonderful way to while away forty minutes of your life, lovely!"
"I love love love this LP, 'Carousel' is a beautiful POP! record, accomplished songwriting deftly played, with hooks and melodies (probably, I don't really know, I'm no expert, but certainly things that make you pay attention and listen up and whistle to yourself later) a sweetheart deal for any dedicated popkid... a record for keeps, a corker!"
A Fog Of Ideas
"Some of these songs are nothing short of pure pop brilliance. 'Promises Promises' bounces along like a rabbit on a pogo stick. My other personal favourite 'The Beaujolais Lanes' reminds me of a Burt Bacharach style song, which is the highest compliment I can offer. Really all hail Pocketbooks for this is a rather splendid album."
Phew! Of course, we could probably compile an equally long list of quotes offering fair criticism about the album, but frankly that would have been a lot less fun! Anyway, the album is still available from Odd Box Records, Bandcamp (with immediate MP3 download) and the usual online distributors if anyone fancies a copy.
Our next show is a Pop-o-matic event in Sheffield on Saturday 14 January with Colour Me Wednesday and Markie Plays Girlpop! It’s our first trip to Sheffield since 2007, so please come along if you’re around.
Andy, Dan, Emma, Ian and Jonny x