The Last Polaroid



Charles Jenkins’ best songs are vaguely conceptual, adopting the vernacular of a romantic poet, a bushranger, an urban troubadour, a rock star, a father, a lover — but are driven by the voice of perfectly ordinary bloke-dom, looking on helplessly as humanity unzips all around — an everyman with the distinguishing gift of otherness. His rich vocals here are both his most tender and most insistent, the tempos hover between a swagger, a strut and a clip. Davey Lane’s razor sharp guitars buzz and slice through every track, serving up perfect portions of pop like fresh sushi, urgently nailing intervals and harmonies with the soaring power and classicism of Ziggy-era Mick Ronson — one of the greatest guitarists of his generation the perfect foil for one of the greatest of contemporary songwriters. Dave Milne’s bravura piano playing and his nuanced, crisp drumming, along with Art Star’s fluid, fat bass give the Zhivagos an engine room that’s every bit as dexterous as the songwriting.

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