The Voluntary Butler Scheme - At Breakfast, Dinner, Tea

Nick Lewis 22/10/2009

Rating: 2/5

One-man-band Rob Jones is one of the most prodigiously talented musicians and arrangers I've heard in a long time. He's got great hooks, ideas and a sonic palette equivalent to The Eels. His imagination is truly boundless and At Breakfast, Dinner, Tea is filled with effervescently imaginative creations.

Such a shame about his lyrics.

At least equal to Jones' musical aptitude is his capacity to irritate. With song titles like Until My Watch Runs Out Of Battery and Laundry he appears to have replaced the missing 'and' in the album title with a gigantic exclamation mark of eccentricity. Each track is simultaneously a master-class in uplifting, summery pop that has its roots in Pet Sounds, and a horribly self-conscious exercise in attention seeking twee. It is truly the biggest shame I have been exposed to in many a year.

At Breakfast, Dinner, Tea aims to keep company with the likes of Jim Noir and The Boy Least Likely To in inventive, childishly innocent pop; but with lines like “if you were broccoli I'd turn vegetarian for you” and “my walkie-talkies sound funny since you borrowed them” it simply ruins itself.

Musically brilliant, but insufferably irritating.

Release date: 31.08.09