‘Mostly Happy’ is gratuitously funny and fantastic in its weirdness.
My Pleasure was arguably more than ‘Mostly Happy’ when recording his second album. This album is full of wit and humour; at times, this could easily be described as a comedy album. A self-described purveyor of ‘weird-pop’ (his mom thinks it’s weird), ‘Mostly Happy’ sees the musician employ lo-fi instrumentation to deliver an album that takes the best of 80’s pop and Mark E. Smith’s sardonic wit (though laced with more humility) to deliver a fantastic sophomore album.
A review of any music by My Pleasure has to start at one place: the lyrics. The act lives within a post-punk shell, and this is more than evident in the lyrical content. Post-punk concerned itself with going against the norm of rock music at the time, and My Pleasure is certainly doing that. To describe the subjects of these lyrics as ‘mundane’ is apt, yet may seem to be quite patronising. This is certainly not the case. This albums charm comes in the many surprises that are contained within. This can come in the short interludes throughout the album, such as the universal mystery behind ‘Guy at a Gig Wearing a Backpack’; what is in his bag?
‘No Tools are Left in This Vehicle Overnight’ is also a lyrical standout. ‘There’s a sticker stuck on the back of my van which says no tools are left in this vehicle overnight/But i’ll let you in a secret/Sometimes I leave tools in my vehicle overnight’ is a track that takes the common lie of stickers and warnings such as the ones previously mentioned and asks the question ‘how can I trust a single word you say?’
Sarcasm is the life-blood of this album. Just like the previous song, the second single from the album, ‘Fluorescent Jacket’ targets the workmen in neon fluorescent jackets. Toeing the line between lampooning and idolising, My Pleasure sings about the perceived prestige that a fluorescent jacket can bring. The angular guitar melody evokes the mod culture of the 80’s, while his vocals are a mix the aforementioned Mark E. Smith with Jarvis Cocker.
Angular, idiosyncratic. Words that arguably have been used many times before to describe My Pleasure, but still definitely apply. The instrumentals on ‘Mostly Happy’ evoke that 80’s pop vibe that is prevalent in plenty of modern music, but My Pleasure rubber stamps his authority on this oft-warn genre. ‘Fluorescent Jacket’ is a great example of My Pleasure’s unique take on pop, but so are tracks like ‘Thank You For Alphabetising My Spice Rack’ and ‘The Wednesday Excuse’, where lo-fi instrumentation reigns supreme. This is an album that revels in distortion, sprinkles of noise and esoteric instrumentation.
‘Mostly Happy’ is a pop album that laughs at the tired tropes of mainstream pop. My Pleasure has channeled the ethos of great post-punk to create a hilarious, witty, fantastic ‘weird-pop’ album. Listen to ‘Mostly Happy’ today, 1st June.