Brown Trout Blues
Label: Virgin Emi
The confident, neo-traditional folk on Johnny Flynn's debut has the duplicitous charisma of a scrappy drunkard, stumbling through the dark alleys of London hollering the fight songs of the Pogues one moment and the wayward croons of ye olde towne crier the next. With references to British footballers and smoking fags, it's a fancy affair -- ornamented with wilting violin and wry wit. But for as immediately charming as tunes like "The Box" and "Tickle Me Pink" are, it's the literate, delicate ballads that really get you where it hurts. With few lags, it's a debut of towering promise.