Montt Mardie - Introducing... the best of
Album Review

Montt Mardie – Introducing… the best of

In a recent interview, Olympic gold-medallist Chris Hoy was asked ‘What does Chris Hoy think of Chris Hoy?’ His brilliant reply was ‘Chris Hoy thinks that the day Chris Hoy refers to Chris Hoy in the third person is the day that Chris Hoy disappears up his own arse.’ By that token, Montt Mardie is so far up his own arse that he’s wearing himself as a hat.

Not content with referring to his generated persona (his real name is David Pagmar) in the third person, and calling his debut UK release ‘Introducing…the Best Of’, the Swedish singer-songwriter lets us know his entire life story (or that of his alter ego, I’m not too sure where the two deviate) and expects us to care.

With such overconfidence, bordering on arrogance, the music must be really incredible, right? Well it’s okay I guess, there are decent pop melodies as you would expect from someone who has sung duets with ‘the elite of Swedish pop’, but the overall package is perhaps too twee.

Mardie’s falsetto has shades of Mika, although to his credit the music on this album doesn’t possess the same desperation for commercial success. Pop culture references abound, for example the moon landing (referenced in ‘1969’) and various popular novels (in ‘Huckleberry Friend’ and ‘How to Kill a Mockingbird’ to name but two), but such tracks smack of an obsession with the origins of the 1980s pop which influences Mardie’s music rather than any direct attempt to carve out a niche for himself.
If you look hard it is possible to find the occasional song on this album which suggests the hype (albeit self-generated) is justified.

‘Smile Charlie’ demonstrates Mardie’s range, and is a far more credible offering than it might be, considering the at times melodramatic lyrics. Equally, ‘Paddy (You Won’t Get What You Deserve)’ is a rare specimen: a pop song that’s a little cheesy but endearing rather than vomit-inducing. Sadly, the album as a whole fails to fulfil this promise. Frustrating? Yes. Surprising? No.

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