PopEx ≫ 2003 ≫ This Is Not A Library

MJ Hibbett and the Validators, reviewed.

I'm listening to Mark1's album "This is not a library" at last, and I can't decide if it really is a concept album, or if there is some clever copy protection in place that knows I got a copy for free and is repeating the titular phrase in each of the tracks as if to say "you really ought to pay for this"... well you should anyway reader, you can get it from mjhibbett.com2 and also hear samples and that there.

First impressions: Mark is sounding more like David Gedge than EVER, on the opening track ("Things'll be different when I'm in charge" at least, and there is some proper jangling here that will keep the campaign for real indie happy. Also I am pleasantly surprised by the female vocal on this album - on the other tracks I'd heard that had "lady parts" on them I thought they were a bit weak, but this time round it sounds like Marianne Faithful or something, and I'm liking it.

If you're pushed for time, and you don't want to listen to the full range of musical styles, including beat, indie, folk, and country and western, fast forward to track eleven - "Make The World Go Blind" is an amazing piece of work, swirling and gloomy and bursting with passion like Ride or J&MC or something. Fuck this one is GOOD!

The whole album is a clever piece of work, which might put off some people - anything smart put to music can sound smug, but whose fault is that eh? NOT MINE, and Not Mark's, and not The Validators. Also it's a very full sounding album, every track seems rammed to the rafters with every conceivable sound and idea. It sounds a bit over-produced on some tracks, but whenever you read that in a review it's code for "I saw this artist many times before you did, and it makes me better than you". Possibly it's just a coincidence that this richness of sound coincide's with Hibbett's move to London. On this subject you can look all you like for a retraction of his earlier "Bands from London are Shit", but maybe that'll be on the next album. Looking forward to it.

Catch MJ Hibbett at the next Silver Rocket club night, upstairs at Highbury Garage, Friday 1st of August, more gig listings here... Five lucky winners get a copy of this album when I get back to work and sort through things...

⬅️ :: ➡️

The content here originally from my very popular (in the tail end of the '90s) site popex.com. Some of this contributed by valued punters, so mostly editorial originally created by me. I shifted this content here when popex finally shut down in the early '00s. Hope this brings back memories (if you read this).