16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Sets the mood for any occasion,
This review is from: Before The Ruin (Audio CD)
Ever since hearing Roddy Woomble's first solo project, My Secret is My Silence, i have been eagerly anticipating a follow up, so i was counting down the days when i discovered two weeks ago that the album was set for release on September the 15th. I knew Roddy was working on some new songs and figured he would be looking to attempt a solo - idlewild - solo - idlewild ratio to his efforts so it was only natural that following 'Make a New World' we would be treated to another chapter to what, i imagine is the vast majority of his fans, is our second introduction to folk.
So what is it like. Well, those expecting another installment of 'My Secret..' should note that the front sticker clearly lables this a 'debut' album for the callaboration, it isnt so much a sequal for Roddy but the work of what can only be described as a group of performers, and this is evident in the first track, Silver and Gold; whereas 'My Secret.' could be linked to idlewild in a musical devolution in most of the tracks, Before the Ruin makes a claim straight away as an entirely seperate species. The guitars are light , the bass-heavy finger plucked acoustics have been replaced by light, soft picking which is more atone with traditional folk sounds, clearly Drever and McClusker's influence, and its by no way a bad thing as Roddy's earthy, imagery-rich lyrics compliment the tone quite beautifully, it certainly is a different sound that what we are used to hearing.
This theme continues throughout, many of the tracks at first may seem rather tame or understated, but as usual with anything written by Roddy Woomble, the listener is rewarded every now and then by a lyric that demands attention or a harmony that makes you want to listen again and again to the song, which in turn leads you through different paths of the music until the whole track makes for repeated enjoyment.
The stand out tracks, as well as the opener, have to be the title track, a 4 minute journey which, quite frustratingly yet brilliantly only includes two chorus lines early on, keeping the listener intent on going back for more, and the quite brilliant 'Rest on the Rest' which is awash with verse, chorus, bridge, harmony so that its not quite clear exactly which is which, but this isnt a bad thing, it gives the track real depth and such is the tone of the singing, could make any day a happy one, and this is before Drever's heavenly voice takes the lead for one round of whay i can only assume is the verse.
In a way i am glad that this isnt a sequal to My Secret is My Silence, it would be nice if this were to remain a one off, while that would rob us of more Roddy Woomble magic, it just adds to the lure of what is a truly special album. I will however be first in the queue for a sequal to this new trio of quite exceptional musicians. I gave My secret 5 stars and in a way created a rod for my own back as i dont think this could ever have been as good as that, so i will call it four, but only in relation to that quite exceptional benchmark