Nostalgia is, we all know, a big seller these days. But, usually, a nostalgic album equals a distinct lack of ideas, or rummaging through your back catalogue. Helen Love has managed to not only avoid this pothole, but also to write an album with perhaps more depth than some would give her credit for. Ten new songs, which, while remaining steadfastly pop, eschew the dayglo colours that her work is known for, and which tell her story in a way that is often very moving.

‘My Seaside Town’ sets the scene, acknowledging that your roots might be holding you back. “I think I’m about to choke on the boredom and the fumes…whiplashed by winter rain”. Wishing you were somewhere more exciting, greener grass.

‘Billy Liar’ reminisces about the kid at school who told tall tales, “your dad was a Kung fu black belt master”. ‘Go-Kart’, with its parping keyboards, manages to sound like John Shuttleworth whilst also being quite touching and warm; “we were the queens of our estate”.

‘A Quite Good Time’ remembers that first/early boyfriend, who your sister warned you about. With the wise refrain “why would you listen to anyone when you’re seventeen?”. ‘Let The Sunshine In’ is a celebration towards better times, and is as infectious as you would imagine.

‘Our House’ evokes similar memories to the Madness tune, but in Helen’s inimitable style, and with some pathos; “our history lies in the curtains, the carpets and the walls”. ‘First Day Of June’ echoes the theme of the cloying seaside town; “it can hold you so tight you might never leave”.

And so to ‘Clearing Out Mum’s House’. It’s a first; Helen Love made me cry! If you’ve had to empty your parents’ house, you’ll empathise with the lyrics here. A lifetime of belongings, what to keep, what to throw away. A lifetime of memories.

‘This Is My World’ sees some of Helen’s many achievements; walking with Joey Ramone, but also standing with the miners in the 1980s. That seaside town probably feels like home now, and it helped to create someone special. Helen Love is still here, still spreading joy, but with a broader palette than before. She’s a treasure.

Author: Martin Chamarette