2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Folk for today,
This review is from: Arrogance Ignorance and Greed (Audio CD)
I can't claim to be a true Show of Hands fan, having only `discovered' them a couple of years ago, but I would guess that this album is a little less `traditional' than some of their previous stuff, judging by the tracks on the `Roots' collection (which is also excellent). Several of the tracks here are closer to a kind of acoustic rock than to most people's idea of folk music, and if that makes it sound a bit soft, it shouldn't; there is a definite rawness in evidence - in Steve Knightley's lyrics and vocals, and in the production by Stu Hanna (half of the excellent Megson) - that gives the album real punch.
What really sets it apart is the quality of the songs and the playing. Knightley has something of a track record of tackling political/social issues, and here he lays into bankers (in the title track), the looting of the cargo of the container ship The Napoli, creationist Darwin nay-sayers (in Evolution) and alternative medicine (in The Worried Well). The anger is mixed with a wry humour and an ear for a good tune, and the playing really drives the songs along. The slower songs (including an excellent version of Peter Gabriel's Secret World, sung by Phil Beer) contrast nicely with the up-tempo tracks, as shown with the two traditional songs - the sparse and haunting Lowlands Away, and a glorious, energetic arrangement of The Keys Of Canterbury with Jackie Oates duetting superbly with Steve Knightley.