Bell Jar - On The Outside Looking In

Tuesday 18th September 2001
Bell Jar - On The Outside Looking In
Bell Jar - On The Outside Looking In

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Ben Lilford

The popular indie rock band fronted by Paul Northup. Four of the tracks here were on their last EP while aging buffs will recognise one of the songs from Eden Burning days. This is a grower, with really heartfelt lyrics and the Rhodes behind most of the songs give them a friendly and inviting feel without sounding the slightest lounge lizard. The production on this album is fantastic. "Thin Places" is testiment to what you can get out of your tiny eight channel multitrack if you have the determination. It also has harmonica playing so dirty that I wanted to write a letter proposing marriage to their harp player Charlotte Ayrton. "It Hurts" has to be the best "far from God" song ever, while "Cage The Bird Up" is an uplifting ending to what is essentially quite a lyrically dark album. 'On The Outside...' is a really intelligent collection of songs with quite some depth and scope in its production and its lyrics. Simple soul, Mr Northup? I think not.

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