22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
another floor breaker!,
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This review is from: Hedonism (Audio CD)
Oh wow! From the outset I can feel the power of Bellowhead , more brass laden than previous albums giving a bit more umph! Which, as I have waxed on about before, is only really evident at live performances.
This summer has seen many an ear turned to the folky tunes of Mumford and Sons, yes its ok but positively lightweight compared to B'head, possibly the best folk act this side of everywhere ,(other than Lau that is!)
The album picks up and turns a corner slightly from where Matachin left off. It's still very trad with fun and pazzaz , but somehow brighter and more vibrant than previous albums. Matachin was at times a tad dour, nonetheless wonderful but arguably the most difficult of their three albums.
I actually thought that Matachin would be THE album to launch them into the stratosphere, I think it did but not as ballistically as I suspected, they have garnered a huge following since, partly due to Tv appearances and treading the boards up and down the country to euphoric audiences.
I have to confess when I heard Mr Leckie was producing this one I trembled a bit, fearing the folk would be lost amidst an array of technical wizzadry, no fear, its still B'head, its still great folk tales with fabulous, almost orchestral arrangements of the panoply of instruments at their command-witness the vocal arrangement on `Broomfield Hill', with gorgeous refrains of horn holding you back until the track takes off with Jons vocals at the forefront and gorgeous harmonies alongside, so far my favourite track on the album.
And by way of demonstrating their incredible versatility they throw in a jazz laden track-`The Hand Weaver.......', danceable, fun and chocked full of mood and tempo changes.
The album, recorded in two weeks at Abbey Rd, captures the power, delicacy, intricacy and warmth of B'head, which is no mean feat when you consider at times there are 11 musicians belting out their music. It was, and feels like, an album almost recorded live, the only element it doesn't really capture is the occasional anarchic feel of live performances (although the track 'Little Sally Racket'comes pretty close), but it is after all a record not a gig.
Drawbacks-well musically none, the songs are a blend of old reworked ancient folk tunes with a smattering of the new, but I have to say `Yarmouth Town' offers nothing new or varied, it's a little bit of a plod along song, even if well played it is one of the few songs on the album that doesn't have a fairly complex arrangement.
The stories of B'head fans breaking concert floor halls with their vigorous dancing are now reaching legendary status. Well from the outset track 1 -`New York Girls' is an absolute floor stomper-concert promoters beware!
A fabulous album which will attract more fans, if the sales of tickets for new tour is anything to go by they are gonna be a big band in more ways than one.
Just buy it ok!