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Monday 12 September 2022

Elvis Eno - A Startling Realization Of The Obvious


There is a lovely story behind the name Elvis Eno, the story is told on the Bandcamp page that I link you to at the end of the review. Thankfully it is not like one of those Facebook Fan Names such as Billy Lynne, Edward McCartney and Sandra Dylan.

Elvis Eno is the alter ego of John Dunbar, he of the fine solo albums and excellent The John Sally Ride. Dunbar has always been a talented Pop Rock songwriter with a sweet vocal that isn't a million miles away from Glenn Tilbrook. That vocal is still present and correct.

However, the songs here seem to be far more experimental, certainly more left field and possibly songs that didn't fit elsewhere. The result may be the best ever album from Dunbar and the most inventive for sure. This is the sound of Pastoral Psych Pop and when the songs are more straight ahead, that Psych Pop seems bursting to get out.

The stand out song is the magnificent Baroque Pop of The Last Time I Saw You which is very much like a Martin Newell song that has had money spent on it. But compare that to More Than A Little While which is a real 80s melodic Post Punk fest.

Getting To Know The Back Of My Hand is very Ooberman with a bit of Ooberon, the band that the Fletts split into. Believe The Liars is wonderful moody with a slight hint of Squeeze, it is haunting. The One Who Won is a wonderful trip and We're Shaped By What Did Not Work is great Wirtz Toytown.

There are nods towards White Album McCartney at times and there are definite Anti Trump in the song titles and lyrics. But the album is jam packed with surprises and unexpected directions. It feels Robyn Hitchcock at times. What A Revelation! You just wish that Dunbar would shout about his material more, he deserves far more than being influential musicians and writers' little secret.

You can listen to and buy the album here.



  1. I mostly agree with you. But where did you see/hear "Anti Trump in the song titles and lyrics", especially, as you put it, "definite" (as proof of last resort???). John Dunbar is the most interesting, talented songwriter, subtle, ironic lyricist, with a huge amount of self-irony. What is very unlikely to be found in his poetry is politics. You have the right to see and hear in his songs whatever you want, but it is unnecessary to impose it on others. Especially for those who haven't heard these songs yet. Let’s say the whole country read your blog, but were not familiar with the works of John Dunbar yet. He would miss half the country of potential fans. You don't have a monopoly on weeding out John Dunbar’s potential fans.

    1. Thank you for your comment. My Anti Trump thoughts were an observation, not necessarily a political view. Bearing in mind your remarks, I contacted John. I asked him if my impression was correct and if there was anything in the review that he was uncomfortable with. He confirmed that my thoughts were correct and that he didn't want anything changing.

  2. Anything Anti-Trump is A-OK in my book

  3. I see there's an even newer album out now..

  4. Yeah. I have it here. The follow up is Acoustic.