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Nothing But The Silence
Nothing But The Silence
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Striking Matches - The New Sounds of Nashville, 26 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Nothing But The Silence (Audio CD)
The implosion of the Civil Wars has left a gap in the market for a passionate country duo with songs that inhabit that middle ground between gritty Americana and Nashville schmaltz. Striking Matches have therefore come along at the right moment and produced an album in "Nothing but the silence" could get dizzy with the amount of times it goes around your turnable. The band members are Justin Davis and Sarah Zimmerman both blessed with fine voices plus the ability to strum a mean guitar. Add to this the presence of one of the worlds hottest producers in T Bone Burnett and the omens for success are large. The duo have already had a number of their songs featured on the soundtrack to the TV series "Nashville" and perhaps more than the Civl Wars they have an harder rock edge derived from their love of sixties greats like the Beatles and Cream.

The album starts in fine fettle with the infectious country ballad "Trouble is as trouble does" and is followed by the sultry "Make a liar out of me". The latter is a nice example of the new Nashville sounds mixing rock, soul and country and resonates deeply. Others like the the hugely commercial single "Hanging on a lie" sees Zimmerman take the lead and potentially deliver a huge country hit. Granted "When the right one comes along" is close to the ethos of the Civil Wars but it is a gorgeous song. Things slow even further for the melancholy ballad “Like Lovers,” which showcases the duo's strengths as there vocals perfectly compliment and work well in unison. Perhaps the track where are the right forces merge is the pop rock of "Missing you tonight" a splendid track with a nice crunchy guitar backdrop.

"Nothing but the silence" breaks no original ground but it does confirm the arrival of a duo destined to be at the forefront of the new Nashville sound. Check out videos of Davis and Zimmerman in concert and they come across with authenticity and passion. As a result you suspect that an appearance on the Jools Holland show could tip these unknowns into major players in the UK and set the charts "ablaze".


Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Price: £9.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtney Barnett - The Wizard of Oz, 23 Mar. 2015
From Melbourne Australia we are gifted the wonderful Courtney Barnett. Strangely her debut album appears to be Number One in Amazon's "grunge" chart. To say this does a disservice is the same as saying the last day of the Six Nations was dull. Barnett's music is much more in the tradition of Stephen Malkmus than Eddie Vedder. It is populated with a dry wit that can take some of everyday life's most mundane situations and turn them into brilliant observational pop. The clues were there in her previous EPs not least the echoes of Syd Barrett in "Avant Gardener", undoubtedly the greatest pop song ever written about a anaphylactic shock.

"Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit." is a blast of fresh air and melodic sunshine from a far off continent. Barnett's Australian accent is not disguised and her songs are full of smart observational lines and quirky titles. She has melodies to spare and enough savvy to tip a wink to commercialism. Thus the opener "Elevator Operator" has fine pop sensibility amongst its angular lines where Barnett comes across like an Antipodeon Justine Frischmann. It is brilliant but blown out of the water by the rocking single "Pedestrian at best" where Barnett's lyrics triumph. In the chorus she exclaims "Put me on a pedestal and I'll only disappoint you/Tell me I'm exceptional, I promise to exploit you/Give me all your money, and I'll make some origami, honey/I think you're a joke, but I don't find you very funny". It is one of those must hear songs that only come along once in a while. In a perfect world it would top the charts. Amazingly the album does not sag after this highpoint. The sardonic and slowly drifting seven minutes of "Small Poppies" never loses interest although the economy of the joyous "Aqua Profunda!" proves that less is more. Equally "Debbie Downer" tucked away at the end of the album is all swirling organs and a gorgeous pop melody which Best Coast must have missed along the way. Any song with the title "Dead fox" is going to arouse curiousity. It also provides Barnett with a chance to come over as a female Lou Reed and again record another first in penning the best song ever recorded about roadkill. Her preoccupations are undoubtedly Australian but the observations are universal.

This is a swaggering, confident and often very funny debut album from a performer destined to be embraced by those with a ear for a "sharp tune". This applies whether she is echoing an artist like P J Harvey on songs like "Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go to the Party" or doing 'serious" with the existential roar of "Kim's Caravan" providing a guitar squall that fellow natives The Drones would be proud of. Courtney Barnett has arrived and produced an exhilarating debut album. The one liners consistently hit the bulls eye. In "Depreston" she tours a "California bungalow in a cul-de-sac." and offers the advice that "If you've got a spare half a million/You could knock it down/and start rebuilding". Overall this wonderful debut is full of self effacing reflection, pinpoint irony and songs to ensure that the download button has a busy evening. In short the ultimate slacker turns into the "Wizard of Oz".
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 26, 2015 11:47 AM GMT


Tetralogue: I'm Right, You're Wrong
Tetralogue: I'm Right, You're Wrong
by Timothy Williamson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.68

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Timothy Williamson - Language, truth and logic, 23 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Heard the one about four people holding very different views who sit across from each other in a train and discuss a wide range of topics including the existence of witchcraft; the superiority (and fallibility) of scientific reasoning? It doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs does it? But at least it could deliver an enthralling and punchy dialogue on the nature of rational debate and some fascinating heated arguments along the way. Sadly Timonthy Williamson little book "Tetralogue - I'm Right. You're Wrong"" does neither. The premise is sound but the idea that is some kind of fun-to-read introduction to philosophical themes for the non-initiated really does not stack up.

The four protagonists essentially become a philosophical mouthpiece to adopt a particular position towards each argument ranging from relativism to pure logic. In using these currents of thought there are widely differing opinions adopted by the characters on the train which in turn test questions about the nature of truth and falsity and particularly the of tolerance of views which you often violently disagree with. There is nothing new in this approach as it echoes the "Dialogues" so beloved of Greek Philosophers such as Plato which was later revived by enlightenment thinkers. In Williamson hands however it is a mechanism that can become a clunky old beast. The opening argument on the existence of witchcraft is a case in point. It diligently plods through the relative merits of each point being made and eventually veers off in another direction where the reader has to go through the process again. The problem is that in his is determination to reflect every viewpoint Williamson's format sometimes becomes mechanistic. This is not to say that the book is without merits. The passages on the claim to superiority as a consequence of belief between truth and falsehood are well done. Similarly the latter part of the book shifts to a much clearer ethical discussion which does holds the readers attention.

Undoubtedly Timothy Williamson is a very gifted philosopher and his attempt to construct a more populist book to explain some of the central core arguments associated with different philosophical positions is admirable. The problem for this reviewer was nonetheless that this book became increasingly hard to pick up with enthusiasm or relish. On times it doesn't so much come over so much as philosophical discourse as four dislikable people on a train having an irritating verbal squabble. Indeed you long for a quiet fifth person in the carriage to tell them all to pipe down and enjoy the passing scenery. Timothy Williamson who is Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford dearly loves his subject and is right to seek to engage the curious with some of its main tenets. "Tetralogue" is a decent book but not without limitations.


If I Was
If I Was
Price: £6.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Staves - From Watford to Wisconsin, 23 Mar. 2015
This review is from: If I Was (Audio CD)
All the signals were present on the recent Staves EP “Blood I Bled” that they were raising their game and producing a much fuller sound. Part of this undoubtedly derives from the move from Watford to Wisconsin, or to be more precise Justin Vernon’s (Bon Iver) studio in the remote and snowy outskirts beyond the city of Eau Claire.

On this second album “If I Was” the sisters have produced another gorgeous album of folk rock with those voices that stand comparison to First Aid Kit and Laura Marling. It is a reflective and wintry album, slightly at odds with the first blooming of spring. but those close harmonies bring enough sunshine to the listener. The rousing opening track “Blood I bled” comes from the aforementioned EP and has nice echoes of the Fleet Foxes. It is followed by “Steady” which the band describe as “a Frankenstein's monster, stitched together from one of Jessica's melodies and a chorus Camilla had been knocking around for more than a year”. It is excellent and while Vernon’s fingerprints are all over its backing atmospherics the sisters make it one of the most mature songs they have penned to date. The plaintive heartbreak love song “No me, no you, no more” is as still as the snow falling and segues beautifully into the gentle acoustics of “Let me down”. Other songs like the single “Black and White” take new directions and is a tougher rockier affair than those which precede it. Another “Teeth White” just about stays on the right side of sounding like a First Aid Kit cover.

The three part harmonies on “Don't you call me anymore” are to die for, while the gloriously wistful “Make it Holy” has that military sounding backbeat that Vernon employed with great effect on the second Bon Iver LP. There are points on the album when the sheer sweetness and dazzling harmonies threaten to overcome the listener. “Horizons” and “Sadness don't own me” veer in this direction but somehow the sisters pull off fine results. Best of all is “Damn it all”. It is certainly the most “produced” track on the album but it is a truly excellent song that builds to a huge crescendo.

“If I was” comes out on the same day that one of The Staves spiritual heirs Laura Marling releases her new album. Both were once pigeon holed in the "nu folk" bracket but have broken free of the shackles of this label. The Staves have are still musically finding their way but this album shows a huge step forward in confidence and maturity. It is most pleasing to report that in the journey from their eponymous debut to this well recorded follow up, there is no evidence of a sophomore slump to report.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2015 12:34 PM GMT


Short Movie
Short Movie
Price: £9.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laura Marling - A period of transition, 23 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Short Movie (Audio CD)
Following previous albums where she managed to raise the bar on just about every release Laura Marling goes electric and points towards a new phase of songwriting. There is no longer any need to debate the importance of Marling to contemporary British music. She is one of our most revered artists who at this rate will have accumulated a massive body of stupendous work by the time she is forty. For the duration of this new album "Short Movie", Laura Marling remains firmly enconsed in Los Angeles and has sought to slow down her hectic rush to release music. The result is another tremendous album but one that doesn't quite match the sheer grandeur of its predecessor "Once I was an Eagle" or her best album to date "I speak because I can". (In this reviewers humble opinion).

Still any music from Laura Marling is a real treat and there are great songs present. Opener "Warrior" has a Laurel Canyon feel to it under the electronic atmospherics and is a powerful start. The second song is "False Hope" which sees Marling gravitate in the direction of the musical arena which P.J. Harvey has dominated. It shows Her completely comfortable and at ease with a more brittle edged rock feel. Other tracks like the wistful acoustics of "Feel your love" could have happily sat on previous albums and as ever the vocals are delicious. Not all is well as the approach of "talking" the lyrics of "Strange" with a American twang creeping into proceedings does grate slightly and while the moodiness of "Howl" creates an interesting almost "Indian" sounding vibe, it is not her best work.

Much better is the playful title track where Marling starts with self deprecation "I got up in the world today/Wondered who it was I could save/Who do you think you are?/Just a girl that can play guitar". Equally the slow blues of "Don't let it bring you down" is beautifully discursive and powers up throughout. Those smitten with the acoustic heartbreak and laments of previous albums will find more exquisite songs in this tradition especially the poignant "Walk alone" a clear standout which is nearly matched by the jaunty acoustics of the wonderful "How can I". It is great to see Marling branching out in new directions and in "Gurdjieff's Daughter" she has penned a song that shows a clear path for the future. It is sort of Mark Knopfler meets Fiona Apple and is strangely compelling.

"Short Movie" shows no halt in the forward march of Laura Marling. While it does lack the conceptual strength and seamless power of "Eagle", there is plenty here to confirm what a mature artist Marling has become. On balance you sense that "Short Movie" may be the starting point or a transition into different forms of musical exploration. Marling like all great artists will undoubtedly take some significant forks in the road both now and into the future. With music of this quality it will be a journey that will be challenging but massively rewarding.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2015 11:12 AM GMT


Goon
Goon
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tobias Jesso Jr - The return of the piano balladeer, 17 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Goon (Audio CD)
The Vancouver singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr is far from an household name but on the evidence of this debut album "Goon" he may be troubling a stereo near you very soon. Jesso comes from that tradition of piano balladeers like Elton John, Randy Newman and Tom Waits. His music however owes as much to Lennon and McCartney in the terms of the vibe it creates and the mix of melodic sunshine and heartaches which predominate throughout. The evidence for this is all over the album. Opener "Can't stop thinking about you" has a "Abbey Road" aura to it and is simply beautiful. The next song "How could you babe" draws on Randy Newman for inspiration and is a mix of "heart on your sleeve" emotions and hurt lyricism especially where Jesso questions "And I find out you’d gone and met a new man / And told him he’s the love of your life / How could you, baby?”.

"Goon" however is no well executed 70s throwback. Having a song on your album called "Without You" invokes the name of Harry Nilsson even though its not a cover. It is nevertheless a beautiful love song which could be a mini classic in the the making and shows that Jesso's songwriting skills can conjure up Lennon-esque comparisons. Other songs like "Just a dream" lightly reference Jesso's "annus horribilis" in 2012 when his he faced a triptych of horrors in relationship break-up, a bike accident and death of a parent. Still he has emerged strong from these life blows and his talent shines through on wonders like "Tell the truth" and "Leaving LA" where he bears his heart and soul. The acoustic guitar dominated "Wait" also points towards a future direction for Jesso on follow up albums. Best of all is the plaintive "Hollywood" which is where the name Jesso can comfortably be added to the list of greats mentioned in this review.

Some tracks are less successful with the overly jolly "Crocodile Tears" standing out like a sore thumb and the slow bluesy "Bad Words" taking the Lennon link a bit far. Others like "For you" are really decent songs but drift uncomfortably towards sentimentality in the lyrics. Tobais Jesso Jr will undoubtedly have plenty of time to write these issues over future releases. For now "Goon" loudly signals the arrival of an artist who was previously a out of luck journeyman musician in Los Angeles, to someone with the potential to become a quiet sensation. Check him out now and then wear an "I told you so" T Shirt if he succeeds.


Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith
Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield - Memory Lane, 17 Mar. 2015
Respect to both artists on this tribute album to Elliott Simith. They somehow managed to record the 12 compositions together over three years in between constant touring as separate musicians, grabbing any spare opportunity to lay down a track whether it be in in their homes or hotel rooms. The question is whether Seth Avett of the Avett Brothers and his friend and fellow artist Jessica Lea Mayfield pull off the feat of taking Smith's intimately personal songs and add real value to them as opposed to mere reverence? The answer is not quite. Clearly both artists love the music of this troubled genius whose tragic suicide in 2003 robbed music of one of its greatest songwriters. In addition Avett and Mayfield rightly try to bring a new sheen to these songs rather than present "Elliott Smith Karaoke Favourites" which is the right approach. The problem is that while it works well on a number of songs on others the fragility of Smiths damaged approach which has led his biographer to describe the musician as the "Torment Saint" cannot be accurately captured. As a result the intimacy of Smiths songs somehow gets lost in the process.

The album starts with Mayfield leading on "Between the bars" Elliott Smiths most famous song. It is a respectful cover and Mayfield has a nice ghostly quality to her voice, but it is not a patch on the original. Much better is Seth Avett's lead on the Beatle-ish "Baby Britain" which pounds along nicely, equally his take on the superb "Angeles" is the albums highlight where everything is stripped back to his sensitive vocal and plaintive guitar. Indeed it is Avett's versions which generally shine most brightly. "Lets get lost" radiates affection for the original and the fragile harmonies with Mayfield hit the mark. Alternatively others like "Twilight" are turned into an alt country ballad by Mayfield, whereas Smiths original was one of his most personal vocal performances with one of his greatest recorded hushed, layered vocal delivery. To be fair to Mayfield she bounces back with an excellent "Angel in the Snow" but the attempt to "rock up" the acoustic rage of "Roman Candle" misses by miles. Avett closes the album with "Memory Lane" which is one of Smiths most desperate songs. It deals with his time in a treatment centre ( "this is the place you end up when you lose the chase.") but one he wrapped up in the sweetest of guitar melodies, giving the song a sense of irony. Avett alternatively treats it as a melancholy piano ballad accompanied by strings and largely pulls it off, closing a interesting album and worthy project.

To stress again the two artists involved have toiled over a labour of love with this album and if some of it doesn't work that is because Smith was such a unique generational voice that he is almost impossible to cover. Thus while this reviewer would not swap any of the songs on this album for the originals, Avett and Mayfield's covers are undoubtedly worthy of investigation and if they lead you to the source of this inspiration it will be a job well done.


Mark Knopfler -Tracker (Deluxe Edition 4 Extra Tracks)
Mark Knopfler -Tracker (Deluxe Edition 4 Extra Tracks)
Offered by A1tradingGB
Price: £12.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mark Knopfler - Laughs and jokes and drinks and smokes, 17 Mar. 2015
Mark Knopfler has settled into an effortless groove in his solo work particularly in the Dylanesque roots of 2012's marvellous double album "Privateering". It mixed in a diversity of themes that also drew upon Celtic folk, Americana and more traditional country. Clearly with this solid track record those expecting "Mark Knopfler does Death Metal" will always wait in vain. Indeed "Tracker" is Knopfler at his reliable best, recording songs of quality and class but infusing them with a personal overview that gives the album a nice reflective flavour. As Knopfler explains "The album title `Tracker' arrived out of me trying to find my way over the decades, out of me tracking time - looking at people, places and things from my past, and out of the process of tracking as in recording tracks in the studio."

It starts with "Laughs and Jokes and Drinks and Smokes" a song that sounds like Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" in its opening bars until a clear Celtic tinge enters. It sees Knopfler reminiscing about his early years and the band have a high old time in the background sing-along. The meditative song "Basil" centres on the grumpy poet Basil Bunting who Mark met when he worked as a copy boy at the Evening Chronicle in Newcastle. It wistfully captures a certain era in the old days of provincial newspapers "Basil sits there on the table for subs/But not a part of the Bri-nylon club/Ancient blue sweater, too old for the job/Bored out of his mind/With the Colins and Bobs". Another song on the album is dedicated to the late Dame Beryl Bainbridge one of our greatest writers in recent years. It is undoubtedly the most Dire Straits sounding song that Knopfler has recorded since the band ceased recording and will delight fans.

A couple of songs are nice enough but don't really spark. The breezy "Skydiver" ambles along but never really ignites. Similarly "Broken Bones" is pure J.J. Cale echoing "Cajun Moon" which is fine but you might as well seek out the real thing. Much better is the superb concluding duet "Wherever I Go" featuring Ruth Moody of the Wailin' Jennys whose warm angelic voice perfectly complements the Knopfler "growl" creating an album standout. Along the way "Long cool girl" also impresses; rolling along steadily, in no hurry but full of Knopfler's atmospheric guitar work. The gorgeous ballad "Silver Eagle" is plain wonderful, whilst "Lights of Taormina" reminds this reviewer of a slowed down version of Dylan's "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts" which can only be a good thing.

"Privateering" was always going to be a hard act to follow and "Tracker" doesn't quite hit those heights. Of the 4 extra tracks on the deluxe edition the melancholy acoustics of "My heart never changed" fails to set the pulses racing, alternatively the banjo driven "38 Special" is great fun. The slight "Heart of Oak" is a gentle ballad although it is the excellent understated "Terminal of tribute to" that begs the question why wasn't it included in the main body of the album? As a package "Tracker" sees no diminution in Knopfler's ability to conjure up a set of songs that will happily repay repeated listens and which will grow in stature every time. A fine album.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 22, 2015 5:03 PM GMT


Tracker
Tracker
Price: £12.99

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mark Knopfler - Laughs and jokes and drinks and smokes, 16 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Tracker (Audio CD)
Mark Knopfler has settled into an effortless groove in his solo work particularly in the Dylanesque roots of 2012’s marvellous double album “Privateering”. It mixed in a diversity of themes that also drew upon Celtic folk, Americana and more traditional country. Clearly with this solid track record those expecting “Mark Knopfler does Death Metal” will always wait in vain. Indeed “Tracker” is Knopfler at his reliable best, recording songs of quality and class but infusing them with a personal overview that gives the album a nice reflective flavour. As Knopfler explains “The album title ‘Tracker’ arrived out of me trying to find my way over the decades, out of me tracking time – looking at people, places and things from my past, and out of the process of tracking as in recording tracks in the studio.”

It starts with “Laughs and Jokes and Drinks and Smokes” a song that sounds like Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” in its opening bars until a clear Celtic tinge enters. It sees Knopfler reminiscing about his early years and the band have a high old time in the background sing-along. The meditative song “Basil” centres on the grumpy poet Basil Bunting who Mark met when he worked as a copy boy at the Evening Chronicle in Newcastle. It wistfully captures a certain era in the old days of provincial newspapers “Basil sits there on the table for subs/But not a part of the Bri-nylon club/Ancient blue sweater, too old for the job/Bored out of his mind/With the Colins and Bobs”. Another song on the album is dedicated to the late Dame Beryl Bainbridge one of our greatest writers in recent years. It is undoubtedly the most Dire Straits sounding song that Knopfler has recorded since the band ceased recording and will delight fans.

A couple of songs are nice enough but don't really spark. The breezy “Skydiver” ambles along but never really ignites. Similarly “Broken Bones” is pure J.J. Cale echoing “Cajun Moon” which is fine but you might as well seek out the real thing. Much better is the superb concluding duet “Wherever I Go” featuring Ruth Moody of the Wailin’ Jennys whose warm angelic voice perfectly complements the Knopfler “growl” creating an album standout. Along the way “Long cool girl” also impresses; rolling along steadily, in no hurry but full of Knopfler’s atmospheric guitar work. The gorgeous ballad “Silver Eagle” is plain wonderful, whilst “Lights of Taomina” reminds this reviewer of a slowed down version of Dylan’s “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts” which can only be a good thing.

“Privateering” was always going to be a hard act to follow and “Tracker” doesn't quite hit those heights. Of the 4 extra tracks on the deluxe edition the melancholy acoustics of “My heart never changed” fails to set the pulses racing, alternatively the banjo driven “38 Special” is great fun. The slight “Heart of Oak” is a gentle ballad although it is the excellent understated “Terminal of tribute to” that begs the question why wasn't it included in the main body of the album? As a package “Tracker” sees no diminution in Knopfler’s ability to conjure up a set of songs that will happily repay repeated listens and which will grow in stature every time. A fine album.


Fresh Blood [VINYL]
Fresh Blood [VINYL]
Price: £21.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Matthew E White - Spacebomb soul, 9 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Fresh Blood [VINYL] (Vinyl)
It was only a couple of months back that Richmond VA's Spacebomb label released what sounded like one of 2015's brightest prospects in the debut album from Natalie Prass. The inspired grand master behind the label is Matthew E White a musician who taps into old Stax and Memphis music whilst giving it a shining contemporary edge . Having reviewed and enjoyed his wonderful debut the "Big Inner" over the last two years the prospect of new record came with onions and relish. The good news is that "Fresh Blood" does not disappoint and in some respects is a much more mature album than its predecessor.

The fact that White has musicians behind him who could play Stravinsky's "The Firebird" on spoons and still make it sound great is a real bonus. The Spacebomb house band is a finely tuned soul machine which builds on White's compositions and takes them from good to grand. The 32 year old White has an acute musicians ear and nowhere is this clearer than on the mighty "Rock n roll is cold" a track so full of joyous verve, infectious chorus back-up and rolling piano that it positively dares your boldly parts to resist. Other tracks swimming in an old Memphis stew also work brilliantly. The album closer "Love is deep" could have been performed with equal measure by artists like Winston Pickett. It is a beautifully economical and well constructed track which could act as a useful point of entry into the wider album. "Holy Moly" is based on spoken lyrics and the track builds to a proper good old Gospel soul finish. Also falling into this category is the sumptuous opener "Take care of my baby" which is an utter delight. Furthermore "Tranquility" proves that White can match that vintage sound of yore which Curtis Mayfield once dominated. Within this tight formula White is capable of serving up classic songs with relative ease. Tracks like "Vision" shuffle along with an underpinning soul vibe that is inherently funky and well paced. Perhaps if there is one complaint it is that the quiet power of the music rarely scores highly in the excitement stakes for all its admirable clarity and referential linage,

Matthew E White has once again taken the music of soul pioneers and proven that he and his Spacebomb compadres can deliver a seductive and accurate modren soul vision for this timeless music. "Fresh Blood" is an album which builds on the themes of his debut "Big Inner" and proves that this music packs a punch. As the Evening Standard have argued "If his debut, Big Inner, was a cult classic, this is tasty enough for mass consumption, a sweet spot between Isaac Hayes and Bon Iver". Seek this album out and while you are at it also extend a listen to Natalie Prass since with records of this quality Spacebomb are clearly the leading label of 2015 to date.


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