Mental As Anything were champions of quirky Australian 80s pop. Once again Greedy Smith lurches forward (or should I say backwards) into dagginess with Love Harmonica. You Look Charming In My Pyjamas is a nifty little ditty that skips along nicely to a swinging jazz accompaniment. Any song with the lyrics, "You got a smile like the Dalai Lama but much, much nicer hair", definitely gets points from me. Meanwhile, Bully Me could be an ode to that Pauline Hanson creature. Greedy goes a little soulful here, with subdued funk. NOVEMBER 1997
All you need to know about this month's hottest release - without having to listen to it! What's hot? Love Harmonica, the first solo album from Mental-As-Anything Greedy Smith. What took him so long? He's a self-confessed slow starter, but found himself writing so many mushy songs that weren't right for the Mentals that he fially got round to recording them on his own. So what's with the harmonica? Greedy reckons this could be the start of a harmonica revival! The instrument recurs throughout the songs, which all deal with love, romance, and the angst that acoompanies them. As he says, "It's good to have a bit of guilt". What to say to sound knowlegable about it? The absence of background guitars creates a good space for the harmonica to work in. A very low-tech record.
An absolutely little trimming old-fashioned (in a couple of the best ways) bit of pop, which again shows the Mentals' song-Smith still knows his way around a tune. With timpani rolls and harmonica intrusions 'Time' is a travellin' song that really does sound like the gentle bastard son of Gene Pitney's '24 hours from Tulsa', and has you tapping your toes along with it. Coupled with the laid back swing of the instrumental 'Lonely One' suggests the album could be infused with the kind of melancholy joy the Mentals' records seemed to lose when the record company started demanding a dozen 'Live it up's per album. THE DRUM MEDIA, SYDNEY AUSTRALIA. SEPTEMBER 1996
Always your mum's favourite Mental, this ballad goes for a subtle approach, with the mild Motown flushes sitting under the surface. BEAT, MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA, OCTOBER 1996.
Greedy, too, is all mournful this week and he really says it best, "It's a familiar theme: boy meets girl; boy plays in internationally acclaimed band; boy goes on tour; boy can't wait to get back in girl's arms for some of the good stuff." There you have it. Taken from the surprisingly good Love Harmonica album, it is a song of emptiness with keyboards dominating. the production is sparse and easy listening. ON THE STREET, SYDNEY AUSTRALIA, FEBRUARY 1997.
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