Home > Mondeo Pop Month > Mondeo Pop Month: Del Amitri – Roll to Me

Mondeo Pop Month: Del Amitri – Roll to Me

Released: July 1995

UK chart position: #22

From the album: Twisted

Do say hello to the first of our special guest writers for Mondeo Pop Month. Edward Okulicz used to have a series of pretty dope blogs on Europop and related ish, but can now be found over at The Singles Jukebox, which is now into its eighteenth month of not linking to Ich Luge Bullets. Take it away…

While you can’t exactly soothe your soul by quoting lines from some movie you saw last week, or trying to conjure up some fancy schmancy painting – music is not just portable, its essence is reproducable anywhere, even while you’re staring at a computer screen and need your non-auditory senses. I have unchallenging but voluminous work in front of me. My ergonomic desk is not helping my dicky shoulder. What I need is just one short snatch of melody I can hum to myself all day while I perform my duties as an office drone.

Mondeo Pop is perfect for this – you can be exactly as engaged in listening to it as you want or need to be. Idiot customers on the phone? The cheery melodies will play in your head as you imagine throttling some cretin who can’t even speak English but wants you to deliver the moon and stars on a fucking plate yesterday. Over lunch, the pensiveness, the awkwardness, the melancholy can seep in. “Roll To Me” is as cheerily lobotomised as any 90s AOR hit you can name (except Deep Blue Something, thank Christ), and at two minutes long is a faster pick-me-up than cup-a-soup. You don’t have to think about the girl with the wrong guy, in the wrong situation if you don’t want to.
You probably could try avoiding thinking about the video with the band in prams and how Judd Apatow ripped it off in ‘Funny People’.

“Roll To Me” is one of those rare songs where everyone – even those who don’t realise it – know the verses but many couldn’t reproduce the chorus. What are the others? I suppose “Thank You” by Dido, “Joy To The World” by Three Dog Night, “Clocks” by Coldplay.. what most of these songs have in common is that they are all shit. “Roll To Me” is not shit, though. It’s exquisitely made for radio like no other Del Amitri song, it has the same flavour of hooks but none of the portent, flabby lyrics or aims to meaningfulness – and obviously, the band saw it as a throwaway and the record company was left to shower the pop gold over the office workers and housewives. Not that “Nothing Ever Happens” and “Kiss This Thing Goodbye” aren’t good pop songs – they are – but they’re trying to be too weighty.. not quite cod-liver oil, but they’re musical bran. High-quality, enjoyable bran, but bran nonetheless. “Roll To Me”, though,  is as crunchy and well-balanced as a nourishing muesli bar dotted with delicious chocolate chips.

Del Amitri never got their props though. Justin Currie, I suppose, had to live in the shadow of his more famous, influential and downright more important (and doesn’t he know it) cousin Momus and all nineteen of his fans. And all they ever had were their successful albums that people actually bought, their actual hit singles in countries that don’t just exist at low tide and, of course, the holy grail, a US Top 10 single. Yes, you knew there’d be a gratuitous Momus reference, possibly to how he likes banging underage girls and being very daring while wishing he were as groundbreaking and shocking as Madonna or as popular as the Pet Shop Boys were in the 80s, while his cousin’s band were just a bunch of dim Scottish kids and spun pure Mondeo gold. It’s why I picked this song; it’s short enough to leave me enough words to take an undergraduate swipe at the Internet’s Smartest Man.

While you can’t exactly soothe your soul by quoting lines from some
movie you saw last week, or trying to conjure up some fancy schmancy
painting – music is not just portable, its essence is reproducable
anywhere, even while you’re staring at a computer screen and need your
non-auditory senses. I have unchallenging but voluminous work in front
of me. My ergonomic desk is not helping my dicky shoulder. What I need
is just one short snatch of melody I can hum to myself all day while I
perform my duties as an office drone.

Mondeo Pop is perfect for this – you can be exactly as engaged in
listening to it as you want or need to be. Idiot customers on the
phone? The cheery melodies will play in your head as you imagine
throttling some cretin who can’t even speak English but wants you to
deliver the moon and stars on a fucking plate yesterday. Over lunch,
the pensiveness, the awkwardness, the melancholy can seep in. “Roll To
Me” is as cheerily lobotomised as any 90s AOR hit you can name (except
Deep Blue Something, thank Christ), and at two minutes long is a
faster pick-me-up than cup-a-soup. You don’t have to think about the
girl with the wrong guy, in the wrong situation if you don’t want to.
You probably could try avoiding thinking about the video with the band
in prams and how Judd Apatow ripped it off in ‘Funny People’.

“Roll To Me” is one of those rare songs where everyone – even those
who don’t realise it – know the verses but many couldn’t reproduce the
chorus. What are the others? I suppose “Thank You” by Dido, “Joy To
The World” by Three Dog Night, “Clocks” by Coldplay.. what most of

these songs have in
common is that they are all shit. “Roll To Me” is not shit, though.
It’s exquisitely made for radio like no other Del Amitri song, it has
the same flavour of hooks but none of the portent, flabby lyrics or
aims to meaningfulness – and obviously, the band saw it as a throwaway
and the record company was left to shower the pop gold over the office
workers and housewives. Not that “Nothing Ever Happens” and “Kiss This

Thing Goodbye” aren’t good pop songs – they are – but they’re trying to
be too weighty.. not quite cod-liver oil, but they’re musical bran.
High-quality, enjoyable bran, but bran nonetheless. “Roll To

Me”, though,  is as crunchy and well-balanced as a nourishing muesli
bar dotted with delicious chocolate chips.

Del Amitri never got their props though. Justin Currie, I suppose, had

to live in the shadow of his more famous, influential and downright
more important (and doesn’t he know it) cousin Momus and all

nine<S>teen</S> of his fans. And all they ever had were their

successful albums that people actually bought, their actual hit

singles in countries that don’t just exist at low tide and, of

course, the holy grail, a US Top 10 single. Yes, you knew there’d be a
gratuitous Momus reference, possibly to how he likes banging underage
girls and being very daring while wishing he were as groundbreaking
and shocking as Madonna or as popular as the Pet Shop Boys were in the

80s, while his cousin’s band were just a bunch of dim Scottish kids and spun

– Show quoted text –
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