Top positive review
15 people found this helpful
Bold, brassy and brave
on 17 October 2012
I must confess at the outset that I am a fan of this band and so I was eagerly awaiting this new release. On first hearing it I thought it was not as immediate as their other albums. However, after a couple of days listening I am not disappointed. It is a rich, heady concoction. Some of the songs grab you immediately - eg 'Roll the Woodpile' Down' and '10,000 Miles'. Also loved the sad love song 'Betsy Baker', with its Beatlesque feel, from the first moment I heard it. Other songs take a few listens - they sound strange at first and then worm their way into your brain and won't let go. In this category I would put 'Old Dun Cow', 'What's the Life of Man' and the haunting (in every sense) 'The Wife of Usher's Well'. The choral arrangements in 'Usher's Well' remind me of Orffe's 'Carmina Burana' for some reason; but this track is my favourite - a real grower. 'Black Beetle Pie' is another track that takes a few listens - it is quite, quite brilliant in a bonkers kind of way.
There is so much to enjoy in these tracks - particularly the layers of vocals, although sometimes these almost overwhelm Jon Boden's lead. (Found I need to listen on really good headphones to get the best effect). There seem's to be so much depth and so much to discover from repeated listening. Another triumph - can't wait to hear it all live!