The Boy Least Likely To is like a tale of two bands. They are at their happiest and the saddest on their new disc, The Great Perhaps. Would you expect anything different from this dynamic that twee pop duo? The band is comprised of singer and lyricist, Jof Owen and multi-instrumentalist, Pete Dobbs. The band is supplemented by guest studio musicians and friends. Their output is a fun dichotomy, upbeat, happy-sounding tunes that would make a four year old explode with joy, often paired with depressing lyrics. It is amazing how well the two opposites work together.
This is the third album from these guys, fourth, if you count their spectacular Christmas album. Their previous releases are packed with tunes that sound perfect for a nursery school with gentle non-threatening vocals that sing heart-wrenching words of loneliness, sadness and heartbreak. Not exactly themes for the kindergarten crowd. The songs are definitely relatable and enjoyable as some of them like their hit, “Be Gentle With Me” are often used in commercials and in emotional moments on TV dramas like Grey’s Anatomy.
The album starts off with “I Keep Falling In Love With You Again” a bouncy, poppy love song just in time for spring. This is the kind of song you will be humming along to as you stroll in the park thinking of the love of your life, or however you spend your afternoons. The song has swirling synth sounds over a thumping rhythm. The electronic drums give throughout the album give it an almost 80s sound. There are some adorable lines here, “Love is all that I know and all that I know is loving you.” The theme of the song is that despite how frustrating love can be, it is also totally worth it. All the headaches and little problems are worth it to “Keep falling in love again.”
The next tune on the album is “My Little Heart That Remembers Everything”. It is a cute tune that hearkens back to their previous releases. As much as the group has moved their sound in a more electronic direction here, some tracks like this one really showcase their signature sound. It is an acoustic guitar led country sounding song with electronic accents. This song talks about the intricacies of love.
“Taking Windmills For Giants” is a tune that really amps up the adorable factor. “I don’t take windmills for anything other than windmills anymore.” This song , like the previous track, sounds like it could have been on one of their previous works but with a little more of an electronic flair. The song is about having the courage to face the giants in your life no matter how large they might seem to be. “I don’t take windmills for anything other than windmills anymore.” Like Don Quixote learned that everything that looks like a giant in the distance is not always a giant, most of the time it is just a windmill.
The song, “Lonely Alone” sounds as sad as the lyrical content it contains but is also a really beautiful tune. I love the harp sounds on this song. “So many people I know are scared of being on their own, you’ll never gonna be lonely alone.” I love how the band states the fact that all of us get lonely sometimes. They ways the lyrics are so honest, emphasizes a feeling of common existence that we are all going life in a very similar way.
“Even Jesus Couldn’t Mend My Broken Heart” is my least favorite song. It isn’t bad, I just don’t enjoy it as much as the rest of songs on these album. The 8-bit electronic sounds make the song a little too busy to me to enjoy. Good thing it is the shortest one on the album.
“Climbing Out Of Love” is a song that talks about making the decision to end a relationship. “Love, I felt so lost.” The song is super catchy which makes sense because it is a single but I love the little electronic flourishes. This song and “I Keep Falling In Love With You Again” make a fun look at love from each end.
Next up is a song about the ‘forgotten astronaut’ on the Apollo 11 mission, “Michael Collins” everyone knows Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstong but Collins sadly isn’t the rock star the other two became. But he still was a part of the mission and has done something so few people have ever or will ever do, be in space. The song sounds sorta spacy and the strings give it a somber feel. “When you see things from a distance, you see things as they are. Because the world looks very different when you see it from that far.” You almost feel like you are up there with Michael Collins looking out at the cosmos.
“It Could’ve Been Me” is another super adorable song featuring Gwenno Saunders from the Pippettes. The call and response vocals are so neat and help the song unfold its familiar tale. The song talks about how two people could have been together if one of them just stepped up. The basic premise, “It could’ve been me loving you, it could’ve been you loving me. There’s so many things that we could have been but we never were.” It’s sad how true of a statement this is for so many of our lives.
“The Dreamer Song” sounds very dreamy and spacy. This song reminds me of a Beach Boys tune, especially in the chorus. This song talks about the possibilities of life and how sometimes what you imagine will happen isn’t exactly how things end up. “I didn’t think we’d ever make it. It’s nice to know I was wrong.” Sometimes that’s a good thing. “Lucky To Be Alive” is a great song about being thankful. “When I look into your eyes, I am lucky to be alive.” They drop some realism here that we can all stand to be reminded of.
Maybe on the album closer they decided to channel the Golden Girls with “Thank You For Being My Friend”. The song is a musical thank you note to Jof’s friends for how much they have meant to his life. We can learn the words to this song to serenade our friends with or maybe just put on your next mixtape. The song is sparse musically set over an acoustic guitar. Owen and Hobbs just harmonize beautifully over a chorus of ahs as the disc ends.
This is one of those bands, I constantly find myself listening to and relating to. They are lyrically sincere, and extremely talented in crafting infectious melodies. The Great Perhaps is another gem in there stellar catalog. Make sure you pick this album up and then head back into their back catalog. It is sure to put a smile on your face.