Released June 22, 2004
Produced by Alex Sharkey
Pinkie's long awaited follow up to 2001's "My Little Experiment," "Sharon Fussy" was an instant indie favorite which was also featured on many year end best of lists. The LP showcased some fine-tuned pop from Alex Sharkey. "Say After Me" was jangly pop at it's best and was also featured on Tonevendor's quarterly comp "Test Tones."
Penny Black Music (UK) / January 2005
Alex Sharkey (aka Pinkie) used to play guitar in Sarah Records fave Brighter, so it comes as
no surprise that this album is filled with watery / pastoral pop songs. The introspective lyrics
revolving around relationships, memories, loss and hope also seem rather familiar. Yet while the
sound and topics may be familiar, they're familiar like an old friend you haven't heard from in
ages and then spend the day talking to as if no time had passed since you last talked.
The sound of seagulls and waves bookend the 12 songs that make up 'Sharon Fussy' and one can easily imagine that these songs were born from walks along the beach. Not a warm, sunny, tropical sort of beach, but those classically overcast, somewhat dreary British beaches where the mist and dampness not only let thoughts soak into your soul, but they cleanse away the confusion and angst that led you to the beach in the first place. That conflict with confusion is present on 'Someone I'll Never Be' and I can't help but get the image of Jimmy from 'Quadrophenia' in my head when I listen to this song (album). Down in Brighton once again. Realizing that the act was just that. Not really sure what happens next. Not sure who he was or who he really is.
'Say after Me', 'Long Live Dreams', and 'Want It to Work This Time' are all gentle songs that yearn for love to win out over fear and doubt. Nice female backing vocals add a sense of softness and warmth to "Say after Me' and 'Want It to Work This Time' that make you want to curl up and sleep for a spell just so everything will stay perfect for a little while.
The piano in 'Who Is It Now?' gives the song a sense of tension and the horns add a touch of despair. This is the quiet break down. The realization that things aren't as they should be. That what once seemed so real, has dissolved and vanished into thin air. This theme continues in 'Just Pretend' but now it's a plea to carry on the lie / the act with full knowledge of the situation - "You don't have to be my friend, but just pretend...."
'Adelaine' begins with the crackling sound of an old record - "it couldn't be that way again, I know it never could". While not entirely upbeat, there is a sense of hope in this song. The strings are uplifiting and the drums have a new found energy and shuffle. 'There's Always Sometimes' wraps everything up neatly. The dreams that didn't come true. The despair and confusion that followed. And the realization that not only is all not lost but that a new direction has been found.
On this album Alex Sharkey has managed to remind me of those fabulous pop songs of the Sarah Records era, the confusion of youth (and mid-life too), and one of my favourite movies 'Quadrophenia'. This album doesn't have the dynamics nor musical scope of the Who's classic and I doubt Sharkey was even trying for something like that. what it does have though is well crafted pop songs and its own story to tell. - Chris Jones