Top positive review
9 of 9 people found this helpful
Beautiful - for happy and sad times
on 25 May 2014
I don't write reviews as a rule. Over my lifetime (and outside of work :) ) I've felt compelled to write maybe about 6 of them. One for a really good hotel, one for a really bad one. One for a game I played on a Spectrum as a 12 year old and one for EMF (which was far from complementary). Also one for a 'Best Pub Juke Box Compilation Ever' album, which really annoyed me.
I really like Cherry Ghost. From the get-go, from the first airing of, 'People Help The People'.
Simon Aldred with Cherry Ghost is not exactly prolific, and it's a case of being left wanting more. I really liked 75% of the debut album. 4 or 5 of those songs (aforementioned 'People...', '4am', 'Mathematics'...) Remain on heavy rotation on my MP3 list.
I listen to a lot of music. I have done for the last 25 odd years. I love the Beatles, the Doors, New Order, the Stone Roses, Jimmy Webb, Oasis (you get the picture). I'm quite content to stick Cherry Ghost to that list. Not many songs/albums grip me any more. Certainly not enough to have me listening to repeat plays of particular songs. But Herd Runners did just that. I love songs that are well written, have hooks and melody (you know - all the old fashioned stuff). I love immediacy, and struggle a little with 'difficult' musicians.
I kind of want to shake everyone I meet by the collar and tell them to listen to this, and even if it doesn't hit them first time, listen until it does.
Obviously we don't do this. We smile and congratulate ourselves on being in the clever club, for understanding gold when we are presented with it. And we kind of smugly look over to those people that are musical passengers and populists in the same way we would to someone wearing a onesie in a late night ASDA (and reading that back makes me cringe at my own smug, prejudice - but what the hell).
I know a good song when I trip over it because I get recurring, nagging thoughts pop into my head. Thoughts wishing that I'd written songs such as 'Drinking for Two', 'Herd Runners' and 'My Lover Lies Under'. These are absolutely beautiful, and are not alone on the album. The thoughts I get are quite bitter-sweet, because they condemn the idea of me writing my own beautiful song further and further back on the 'things I'm likely to do in this lifetime' list.
I've listened through about 4 times now and absolutely love this album. If I'm still alive in 20 years it will still be with me. And I will have subjected as many people to it as possible over those 20 years as well.
From a lyrical point of view it's as thought provoking as much that has come before from Cherry Ghost (and more so from my point of view). Lyrics such as, 'A nail clip moon, it floods the room and lights a path, right to the door, they sweep the floor, I drain my glass. A night of waiting patiently for you - drinking for two.' On the devastatingly beautiful, 'Drinking for Two'. You just don't get this kind of thing coming along very often, especially not packaged up in astonishingly sparse guitar lines that cut the flab and get straight to the point.
As a very random 'for instance', there's a little recurring two or three note guitar line in 'Herd Runners' and it completely staples you to the song. It's the sort of subconscious element that you find in all great songs.
So yes, I'm happy to fully endorse this album and compel you to buy it and encourage Simon to do more.
As with all great music there are one or two songs on here that do not click with me, but as Noel Gallagher correctly says on 'Little by little' - 'True perfection has to be imperfect' (2nd and last track by the way). Everything else is perfection and allows me to happily give 5 stars.