paulhaig_coverPaul Haig may be reaching a respectable 50 years of age but he is currently in one of the richest veins of creativity of his career, as Relive is his third album in as many years.Paul started out as part of the 1980s Scottish post-punk band Josef K on the legendary Postcard label. Josef K only made one album (The Only Fun in Town) to little commercial success before splitting up but they are now highly regarded in critical circles and have helped shape the sound of current acts like Franz Ferdinand.'Trip out the Rider' opens Relive and it is a rapid statement of intent encased in a thumping beat and dark synths. The title track follows and features a slow, 'Personal Jesus'-eque riff that plays off a clapping drumbeat and Haig's monotonous spoken word delivery into a worthy foot tapper. 'Ambition' and 'So Contemporary' follow and slow down proceedings. The former has a New Order feel to it while the latter is, for me, one of the skipable tracks on the album mainly due to the way Haig delivers his vocal.The second half of the album kicks off in much the same way as the first, with a couple of energetic tracks in 'Good Thing' and 'Round and Round'. The latter is co-written by fellow Josef K member Malcolm Ross and is a fine clattering of guitars, which makes you wonder what they could have achieved had Josef K not split when they did. Unfortunately this head of steam is stopped in its tracks by the forgettable 'Listen to Me'. Whilst Haig has good intentions here, the token love song seems terribly out of place. A passionate cover of Pere Ubu's 'Horses' raises the quality levels once again, while 'Without a Doubt' sees Haig sounding curiously like a BBC Radio 5Live commentator or is that just me?'Eyes Wide Open' closes Relive in pleasant fashion with a rhythm that you feel could go on a lot longer than its 03:25 running time, but then none of these songs outstay their welcome with the longest being just over four minutes. You get the impression Paul Haig has found his love for music again after a few years in the wilderness and there is plenty of evidence on Relive that he can still craft a good pop song, so long may this creative streak continue!

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