Label: 13 Clouds Records Release date: Out Now Website: Official Website Ever since listening to Broken Social Scene's album You Forgot it in People I have developed an inexplicable affinity with Toronto (I've only ever flown over Canada - once) and a pretty big crush on Leslie Feist. Not only is Howie Beck from that very same city of Ontario but he's managed to get Feist to lend her voice to this, his fourth full length album. Still, I'm sure journalistic integrity will override any feelings I have for her or the home that I've never visited. The majority of songs on the album are a fusion of indie, country and folk. However, there are three tracks that seem out of place, which is strange seeing as Beck plays all the instruments on the album and so must have had, I would imagine, a lot of creative control. The first, 'Watch Out For The Fuzz', actually begins the album and is an upbeat, indie-pop ditty in the vein of Matthew Jay or Ed Harcourt. Though unrepresentative of the rest of the album (It wouldn't make a very honest single) this energetic song is one of its best. On the other end of the scale is 'Beside This Life', the sign off to How to Fall Down in Public. Again, this song seems misplaced, but worse, it sounds like something Jamie Cullum might play if he had just jumped on the gleaming white piano in a hotel foyer to tickle the keys in a sickeningly 'smooth' way. Consequently, it serves as an unexpected and unappetising end to what has been an essentially likeable record. The final anomaly is the sweet instrumental called 'Fin'. Here, guitar and piano sing to one another as they repeat a gentle, relaxing tune. Of the three exceptions to the indie-folky-country rule, this one seems the least misplaced if only because it appears to act as a mid-album interlude. Apart from now and again being vaguely reminiscent of The Thrills the rest of How to Fall Down in Public is solid. Beck combines a variety of instruments with his pleasing vocals to create songs that are often rich and warm. Of particular note are 'Flashover' and 'If I Ever Come Home'. The latter, complete with chirping insects and clip-clopping beat, is evocative of a night on the range, huddled round a camp-fire with travelling companions. 'Flashover' manages to just beat 'Watch Out For The Fuzz' to the title of 'best track' thanks to its absorbing melody and the fact that Beck's voice sounds best on it. There are some patchy parts, one awful song and, disappointingly, Feist's considerable vocal talent is hardly used but How to Fall Down in Public is still a pretty good performer. Rating: 7/10 Itching to have your say on Howie Beck?Sound off in our Fourum!