5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not as good as Burlesque,
This review is from: Matachin (Deluxe Hardback Edition) (Audio CD)
Matachin suffers, IMHO, from too many cooks. Where Burlesque was very strongly directed by Spiers and Boden, this one seems to be a truly democratic and communal offering and as a result ends up just muddled at times. Pity, because the opener Fakenham Fair is as good as anything you'll ever hear. Stunning musicianship and harmonies, brass, strings and rhythm re-energizing a tuneful old folk song. Thereafter the song choice is not as consistently strong. Roll Her Down The Bay is repetitive and boring, Cholera Camp too long and meandering, Spectre Review and Widow's Curse unexceptional and cluttered, and the half minute Vignettes fairly pointless. In the other stronger moments, I Drew My Ship, Bruton Town and Trip to Bucharest, the arrangements seem more focused but the album lacks the lingering, catchy melodies of its predecessor and I suspect, sadly, that I won't listen to it very often. Another point, in terms of mixing and arrangement, Jon Boden's voice is often overpowered, and sometimes the original rhythm or theme of the track is lost amidst the complex counter orchestration, where less might be more. Unlike Burlesque then, Matachin veers perilously close to becoming a hybrid musical form and losing touch with its folk roots. It is perhaps trying to be just a bit too clever, but my feeling is that the material chosen isn't strong enough to support the huge weight of instrumentation and ideas. Still very good, mind.
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Initial post: 4 May 2010 16:23:23 BDT
K. White says:
You should listen to Matachin....and often! I hope it will grow on you. Try to see Bellowhead performing it live, you won't be able to not love it!
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