ALBUM REVIEW: Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat - The Most Important Place in the World

Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat ... The Most Important Place In The World (Chemikal Underground).

Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat ... The Most Important Place In The World (Chemikal Underground).

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TWO of Scottish music’s most popular figures, multi-instrumentalist Bill Wells and former Arab Strap singer Aidan Moffat, hit new heights in 2011 when their collaborative masterpiece Everything’s Getting Older scooped the nation’s inaugural Album of the Year award.

It’s the greatest compliment possible, then, that they’ve repeated the trick on this eagerly awaited follow-up; though the roots of The Most Important Place’s brilliance are by no means identical.

Perhaps the most startling aspect is its diversity, with Wells’ arrangements encompassing everything from sparse piano and programmed beats to frenzied jazz freakouts; while luscious string and choral segments mark a noticeable hike in ambition.

Moffat, meanwhile, is once more in superlative form, conjuring lyrical images which are just as vivid, whether portraying midlife alienation (The Unseen Man), foreboding lust (This Dark Desire) or tender-hearted warmth (The Tangle of Us, Far From You).

How it stacks up to its predecessor will only become evident with time, but even at this stage it’s clear this dynamic duo have delivered another beauty. 9/10. AW