Ritchie has never been afraid of naff, which is perhaps just as well, considering the gaucherie of Candice's lyrics, but all the same I can't help loving this album. From the first marvellous note Candice produces - she gets better with each album - this record has me by the throat. And I'm not exactly sure why, which is a little embarrassing. OK, Ritchie plays like a god and Candice has a voice I could listen to forever, some of the songs stand out as particularly well-made (I'm thinking here of The Hanging Tree and The Times They Are A-Changing - Bob Dylan's I know, but he's never as good as when someone else is doing his stuff), but the lyrics really are utterly cringe-worthy. Here the special prize goes the The Crowning of the King, which always makes me think of Monty Python ("King? I don't recall voting for any king! I thought we were an autonomous collective!). Perhaps it's the fact that I'm a Renaissance scholar which makes the holes in Blackmore's Night's take on the Renaissance so very obvious to me.
But, but, but... I have played this lord knows how many times since buying it, and still I'm not tired of it at all. I hope they carry on in the same vein for some time to come, because clearly it works. Well done.