'Beloved One' is Lou Rhodes's 2006 debut solo album which was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize. The judging panel described it as: 'A deeply personal acoustic album of elegant and affecting songs.' Rhodes is perhaps better known as lead vocalist of chilled downtempo outfit Lamb. 'Beloved One' emerged after Lamb split following the release of 'Between Darkness and Wonder' in 2004. Rhodes set off on a new path: one devoid of the frictions and frustrations which accompanied Lamb. The album is a transcendental journey through self-discovery and, from the first line of the opening song, represents an undiluted musical vision she can finally call her own. 'Beloved One' is the musical embodiment of Lou's metamorphosis. Drum'n'bass rhythms are replaced by the spacious echoes of hand drum percussion, while Chinese violins and Tuvan guitars administer textures once provided by synthesizers and sequencers. Capturing the intimate nature of the sessions, clear vocals, warm acoustic guitars, luminous strings were paramount for Rhodes and co-producer/percussionist Emre Ramazanoglu. Nothing was to be pushed too far. In fact, only one song, 'Why', features a traditional drum kit. It also happens to be the only song credited to Rhodes, Barlow, Lamb guitarist Oddur Mar Runarsson and Lamb bassist Jon Thorne. It was written with Lamb, Rhodes says of the ballad, but it just didn't feel appropriate for Lamb. It was very acoustic but very complete, and it was appropriate for that to be on my album. There are a few other Lamb crossovers on 'Beloved One', but nothing that would draw an obvious creative parallel. Runarsson plays on six of the album's ten tracks, and Chi2 Strings who appeared on 'Between Darkness And Wonder' return to arrange and perform on half the selections. Rhodes even persuaded her musician step-father, Graham Burton, to contribute his guitar work on 'Each Moment New', 'Beloved One', and 'In lakesh'. But it's Rhodes own playing that glues each song together. Her rudimentary progressions and melodies are a perfect match to the stark vulnerability of confessionals like 'Save Me' and 'To Survive'. 'Did I let you down or just let you go? For as long as I live I swear I'll never know' she whispers on 'To Survive', echoing sentiments found on 'Treat Her Gently', another of 'Beloved One's' heart-stopping serenades. Likewise, songs like 'Tremble' and 'Inlakesh' are full of the childlike wonder and innocence that are such an integral part of Rhodes songwriting approach. The emotional duality that makes Lamb such a powerful force, both live and on record, is unequivocally present. 'Beloved One' may be Rhodes most profound discovery. It strips her strongest attributes - honesty, imagination and love - to their purest form and pushes them to the forefront of each song. There are clear pathways between the heart, the mouth and the ear. There is a new truth to her words.
Great CD in excellent condition & in paper slip case, fast dispatch, UK SELLER