33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Oim 'alf english,
This review is from: The Imagined Village (Audio CD)
Hands down, next to anything by Show of Hands or Billy Bragg, the best CD od Brit based music dealing with Brit identity that you will ever hear. Clearly on the world music scene, this is the CD of the year.
The brainchild of the collaborative efforts of the most creative artists in Britain today, there is everything to love about this disc, from the opening "Ouses, ouses, ouses", a charming and atmpospheric story from John Copper that is about a set of Chalk Downes, but could as easily be anywhere in the world falling prey to globalization, to the final set of reels and country dances reworked through the imagination of Trans-Global, Paul Weller, Eliza Carthy, Simon Emmerson and the irrepressible Mr Bragg, this is a work for the ages.
Weller and Martin Carthy take John Barleycorn for the ride of his life. Sheila Chandra and Ms Carthy sing like their lives depend on it (remember Sandy Denny - it's just that good!), and Bragg delivers a Hard Times for Old England that puts the lie to globalization and speaks truth to power in ways power aint gonna like very much. In many ways, the record reminds me of the seminal Show of Hands efforts, Country Life. And Phil Beer is on hand in this effort to add his deft touch at fiddle, mandolin, etc.
Production effects by Mass and Simon Emerson and Tunng give this record an edge that would have been inconceivable in the early days of Fairport and Steeleye, yet it is cut of the same bold cloth, taking a history of extraordinary musical tradition and breathing new life into it, yet retaining its authenticity and genuine vitality. Riding through Philly with the windows open and the CD blasting, people at cross roads would turn and catch the tunes and have the most wonderful experssions on their faces as the songs and their messages resonated.
You'll be hard pressed to find a better disc than this in any discipline, but then with Weller, Bragg, the Carthys and the others assembled, how could you? This is just sooooooo incredibly great!