Label: Emperor Records Release date: 28/09/09 Website: Liam Frost's MySpace Page Buy: Amazon This album could only have been made by a Northerner. Any singer songwriter south of the Pennines wouldn’t have been able to summon up the share gumption to release an album that is not just content to occupy the interests of a minority of music fans in the know, but strive for worldwide domination. What we have here is an album that is a bold statement of intent, a deliberate play for greatness. Taking its title from a poem written by legendary lowlife Poet / Novelist Charles Bukowski, a man who understood the importance of cultivating a persona and creating myths; at his worse Bukowski was a drunk, a womanizer and a gambler, at his best he was a genius. Frost like Bukowski seems keen to paint his own shadow. Many of us first heard a glimpse of Frost’s potential on ‘The Mourners of St. Paul’s’, the song seemed to be a breakthrough moment for the Mancunian troubadour. It certainly caught people’s attention; and since the release of that song Frost has been endorsed by a number of prominent songwriters including Elbow’s Guy Garvey. Much has been made of Frost’s collaboration with Martha Wainwright and I think it is important to discuss this first before we press on with an appraisal of the rest of the album. The track itself ‘Your Hand In Mine’ is ridiculously camp, you could almost mistake it for an Alphabeat song. As far as duets go, it is up there in cringe land with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The track feels awkward, I imagine if Frost and Wainwright ever had to relive the moment on stage the pair of them would resemble Butlin’s redcoats cringing ashamedly under their fake smiles. That monstrosity aside the album opens with ‘Held Tightly In Your Fist’, which is quite similar to David Bowie’s arrangement of ‘Sorrow’. Frost’s enunciation is strong; words are spat out with verve. Unusually his vocal tone displays a fierce, determined sharpness, though this is somewhat tampered by the fluffy star struck chorus. Frost appears to be pondering on the first track whether he should be so blasé in his intentions. He seems to be thinking – Can I get away with this? Can this album really lead me out of relative obscurity and into the spotlight? ‘Good Things’ bounces along jovially, with a happy swing, reminding me a little of Jamie Lidell. “Easy love was a nasty habit I never could quite kick” Frost exclaims gleefully. Again the song recalls the idle thoughts of a careless dreamer. ‘Younger Boys, Older Girls’ is reflective; wallowing in regret, delicate piano similar in tempo to ‘Georgia on my Mind’ carries the song on a lucid cruise. The passionate Springsteen influenced ‘Two Hearts’ charges forward confidently, Frost proving he is born to run. It is the two stripped down ballads that are the finest moments of ‘We Ain’t Got No Money, Honey, But We Got Rain ‘Sparks’ shimmers, with a majestic vocal performance by Frost, in the space of one song he seems to grow from pretender to champion, this is real lighters in the air stuff. ‘Skylark Avenue’ again causes goose bumps to rise; “I sparked a fire and watched it all come down”; the track appears to be an ode to loss. The closing of the album sees Frost marvel at panoramic city views under blinding neon illumination, a mournful brass refrain positively lights up ‘Leading Lights and Luminaries’. Dancing spritely ‘Orchestra of Love’ has a real Broadway feel to it, typically spontaneous. This album is proudly schizophrenic and undoubtedly the final track confirms that Frost is a difficult character to pin down. There are accusations to be made that Frost is directionless, in the accelerated age, he becomes an accelerated artist, trying on many different hats, but doing so in the space of one album rather than throughout a career. Time will tell whether this album will deliver Frost into the Promised Land. We Ain't Got Money, Honey, But We Got Rain is ambitious, but in places far too patchy to get the wheels on the hype wagon rolling into overdrive. Rating: 7/10