Love and Other Cosmopolitan Diseases

Release Date: 2018

Love and Other Cosmopolitan Diseases

Mark’s 3rd album is again loosely thematic in that all the songs are about love in some way as the title suggests. From the fatalistic Love’s Playground (a vague homage to Jimi Hendrix) to Man Alone, a companion piece to Every Shade of Blue on the first album, from the ironic Probably to the rollicking Impossible Love and Desperate Hearts, an observation of the unsuitable relationships of female friends and relatives, from the exaggeration but basic factualness of Your New Tricks to the observation of lovers ‘ habits in Sri Lanka that is Under Every Bright Umbrella and the heart on sleeve declarations of The Rising of the Sun, many aspects of love are put under the musical microscope. The album was executed by Mark (guitar, bass and vocals), Max Goodliffe (drums and percussion) and the heroic guitars of Damien D’Souza. It was recorded by John Goodliffe between September 2015 and November 2017.

Release Date: 2018

About The songs From This Album

1.Love’s Playground.

One of the earliest songs I came up with, after I started writing again in 2010, it’s an homage to Hendrix’s Up From The Skies, as far-fetched as that might seem. It’s a complex song with so many chords that it takes some practice to pull off. It describes the evening when I met Chamath. I love Max’s drumming and Damien’s guitar playing.

  1. African Boy Another song, another lover.

This time Abdo from Sudan. The song accurately describes our heated evenings and nights of chatting after we met by chance. (Long story!) It lacks the African flavour I had hoped for but it was a simple song which wrote itself. I slowed it down on the advice of my friend Khalid who I had hoped would play on it.

  1. Easier Alone.

Another early song with an ironic pay off. I was pleased with the chord sequence of this but for some reason left it solo-less when it would probably have benefitted from one of Damien’s inspired efforts. Note the sleazy stripper’s rhythm on the drums in the bridge courtesy of Max.

  1. If It’s Only A Dream.

A song of imagined response to finding oneself in love and loved. I was happy with the subtlety of the chords in the verse – the B13 alternates with a B9 – and the slow shuffle rhythm but it’s quite a slight song really.

  1. Erosion.

My disco effort and attempt to describe how relationships break up. It’s another chord heavy song which is somewhat beyond my reach as a singer! Particularly in the bridge though I think i just about pulled it off. Again, kudos to Max for the drums.

  1. If This Isn’t Love (It’s The Next Best Thing).

Another quite old song slightly funky describing a lover’s incredulity at finding himself or herself in love. Was quite pleased with the lyrics.

  1. Your New Tricks.

The most autobiographical song on the album, it turns the idea of infidelity on its head to provide a stimulus for a rather jaded relationship. This is not exactly how things panned out in reality, needless to say. It’s a rather smutty bossa nova in which I had fun using the image of self service sweets to describe sexual high jinx.

  1. The Rising Of The Sun.

For some reason, I imagined that I was Chrissie Hynd with this one. I was very proud of this song though it really demands a much better singer than myself to bring out the best of it. Given the structure, it was a challenge to find a bridge which would pull out together. To do so, I had to preempt the final verse. Considering I played fretless bass on this as a solo voice I gave Damien a challenge to come up with some kind of solo himself. Naturally he acquitted himself with flying colours.

  1. Man Alone.

I wanted to describe how men left lonely might deal with it – or otherwise! I was very proud of the opening and closing sequences though I’m surprised at how fast it is. I originally thought it would be quite slow. It struck a chord with Damien who plays in a thoroughly heartfelt manner throughout.

  1. Under Every Bright Umbrella.

This song dates from 2010 when I went to Sri Lanka to record my first album and observed lovers occupying benches under trees in parks and by lakes. It is written in an ersatz 30s style to which end I incorporated a megaphone style vocal in the bridge.

  1. Impossible Love And Desperate Hearts.

Not autobiographical but written with many of the women I know who fall for unsuitable men in mind. I love the way it rolls along with Max’s rolling drums and congas. It was inspirational to put the bass down when he had recorded his parts. Then Damien came alone and I asked him to go crazy. Which he duly did! His solo is genius.

  1. Probably.

Another ironic song written for Chamath, based on a conversation we once had. Deliberately left spare and intimate and intended, despite the irony, to convey its heartfelt and intimate feelings.