Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager (Cover Artwork)

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager (2006)


When Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, the acoustic guitar / laptop-based one-man band alias of a young Englishman named Sam Duckworth, signed to Atlantic for the release of his debut album, there were the expected cries of "Sellout! Sellout!" Many who had followed his early career through empty venues, house shows and DIY tours wondered how he could reconcile his outspoken politics with being on a major label.

The easiest way to accept it, really, is to see the move as providing more exposure for worthwhile causes, with Duckworth heavily supporting Fair Trade and any music-related charity (Love Music Hate Racism, Bollocks to Poverty, etc.) that he can, and get on with enjoying a great record.

The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager is a highly polished piece of folk-pop, drenched in fake drum and synth beats and trumpet and violin contributions from a wealth of helpful friends. Duckworth's deep, raspy voice spits out lyrics that careen from positive, such as in "Once More with Feeling," a song determined to empower kids to make a difference, to deeply cynical -- "The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager" parts 1 and 2 discuss Duckworth's experiences with becoming disillusioned with touring and songwriting. There is also a great deal of political material, leading to comparisons with Billy Bragg. "Glass Houses" speaks out about the racial tension and discrimination in the UK that Duckworth has himself suffered, and "Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly," which concerns fair trade issues. Whilst it can seem a bit preachy, it is not as relentless as with many political bands, with the political material spread out over the album.

Nothing particularly new, then, but still very much worth a listen. The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager is a strong, varied record, reccomended for fans of Frank Turner or Why?. Ignore any hype, whether positive or negative (the NME gave this album 8 out of 10, but made it sound awful), and give it a chance.