DAVID MCCORMACK AND THE POLAROIDS - The Truth About Love

Beat CD Review, Aug 2004

Let’s get this straight: David McCormack is one of Australia’s best singer / songwriters. Ever. The man has more talent and charisma in some gunk behind his ear than most performers can dream of.

In interviews for the last Polaroids release, McCormack vented fears about being thought of as a gimmicky, novelty singer. Too many times the quirky humour infecting his music has, according to him, made it difficult for people to take him seriously. And so we get The Truth About Love.

Not that this album is bereft of humour or that irresistible McCormack charm; there’s just less beating about the bush. Obvious comments about David’s divorce aside, this latest offering takes dead aim on its subject of choice. A bloody meat-cleaver on the cover and song titles like Lonely, You Are Over Me and Goodbye From Tomorrow – you’re left with little doubt about what you’re in for.

It takes a rare performer to bring his audience on a trip like this without having them shoot through at the first opportunity. The Polaroids entice you in with a fuller-bodied sound than their last release. Along with heartbreaker Cameron Bruce’s keyboard work and the addition of long-time McCormack comrade Andrew Lancaster on lead guitar, a string section, a touch of sampling and their lead man’s slide guitar are put to good use. While there may not be any downright optimism to be found here, there’s some bloody good listening.

And it’s not all doom and gloom – more like honesty about love not always being what it’s made out to be. No cries for pity, either. I’m Going to Execute Yr Ex-Boyfriend and If You Leave Me (I Will Hunt You Down and Kill You) take quite a pragmatic, if slightly homicidal, approach to the dangers of heartbreak. David McCormack and the Polaroids aren’t going to lie to you and they’re not going to take advantage. Buy this album, learn their truth about love and start taking them seriously. Then go their show and have a chuckle with them.

DANIEL CORBETT