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Cheeky Monkey: Four Arms To Hold You

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Album: Four Arms To Hold You
Label: Big Deal

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Cheeky Monkey, a collaboration between Francis Macdonald of the Scottish pop band BMX Bandits and folkish New York singer/songwriter Michael Shelley, sounds like the work of two people who don't often disagree. Though a few tracks drip preciousness—"Chasin' Each Other Around The Room" may be the most insufferably cute ode to kinky sex ever, and "Monkey Man" is probably the first song to steal a line from one of The Simpsons' musical numbers—most of the unfortunately named Cheeky Monkey's Four Arms To Hold You brings together the best of Macdonald's and Shelley's worlds. American-coffeehouse-style, songwriterly introspection meets British-style pop, and the result is a collection of aggressively pleasant, catchy songs. Produced and played entirely by its two members, and recorded in Scotland over the course of four days, Four Arms To Hold You has a casual feel to it, but not so casual as to be ineffective. Songs like "Down" and "I Wanna Live With You" have a classic pop feel to them, and the album as a whole makes it worth hoping that either Shelley or Macdonald crosses the ocean for a visit again some time soon.