Paul Heaton – Mermaids And Slaves

Beautiful South’s Paul Heaton launches his solo career this summer with the album ‘The Cross Eyed Rambler’. The first single from this album, ‘Mermaids and Slaves’, indicates that Heaton has not had a musical epiphany since his previous venture split, as this track is very similar to something they would have produced.

It is upbeat, guitar-led and has excellent pace. Seemingly an observation of Northern life, a piano melody throughout lifts Heaton’s distinctive vocals to a folky-country mode. This is no bad thing; after all, it worked for The Beautiful South a lot of the time.

Heaton hasn’t moved away from what he knows he can do; the similarity between this solo sound and his band sound is massive and whilst this may mean he keeps his fans, whether he picks any new ones up along the way is debatable.

Not the most memorable tune you will hear all summer, but nevertheless it is well-produced, has charismatic vocals and is jaunty enough for the season.

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