Calling a Brit charming here in the States doesn’t really carry much weight. Tea is charming. The Union Jack is charming. Hell, even Hugh Grant’s post-Divine Brown mug shot was rather charming.
But South-Londoner Johnny Flynn’s debut A Larum, bubbling with Olde World magic and wit far beyond his 25 years, is so brimming with charm that even Lucky the Leprechaun would be jealous.
The subtle touches in the record’s musicality are delightful – a rolling rhythm section, banjos and ukuleles and the resounding antique Reso-Phonic guitar all provide the perfect backdrop for a Flynn’s startlingly inspired song-writing.
His lyricism varies from cerebral – referencing Thoreau on opening track “The Box,” to understated and observational: “The bartender looks like George Best/ Plenty of them do” on “Wayne Rooney.”
With the pure sincerity and the confidence of a master story-teller, Flynn gently guides the ebb and flow of the album with ease, from reflective and regretful songs (the gut-wrenching “Hong Kong Cemetery”) to pub-friendly classics (“Tickle Me Pink,” “Leftovers”).
Johnny Flynn’s enthusiastic blend of folk, blues and British charisma is timeless, and yes, charming. And not a hooker in sight. Brilliant!