Mix the grit of Billy Bragg with the crystal choral of Peter Gabriel, some lyrical Paul Simon - add the beguiling belly of Leonard Cohen and your getting close to Roy Smiles' distinct output in these songs. With "Time Is Moving On" Smiles has given us a uniquely beautiful lyrical exploration of what it means to love and loose, it's smattered with honesty of sentiment and laced together with haunting melodies.
Throughout the album there is a sense that Smiles has taken a long and oft we feel painful look at the quandary of being human and loving. These are ballads from a bard who's not afraid to wash his face in the sink of private desperations, but he comes out with a flourish, a splash and towelling down of hope. The lyrics may lay our frailties bare, but the sonorous surge of expectation in the melodies lifts them to an exquisite place.
"Has Anybody Here Seen A Friend?" is one of those rare gems of a song that feels like a classic on the first listen and listen you'll want to - time and time again - it's a corker! The honey warm sound, some great playing and heartfelt singing support the songs throughout. If you have a pair of ears you'd do well to put Roy Smiles in them, he sings from the soul for all of us - glorious!!!!