5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Oxymoron - a classy assured outgoing 2nd album,
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This review is from: Hidden (Audio CD)
This is a significant step forward from their quieter quality debut that was more a reflection focused on their childhood experience, now moving on to more adult themes. Despite their family folk heritage, this is definitely not in the traditional folk mould, but rather an accomplished singer songwriter offering, with a surprising variety of styles contained within. Throughout Marry Waterson's voice is strong,clear and well to the fore,with interesting insightful lyrics together with tasteful supporting electric and acoustic guitar playing and arrangements from Oliver Knight. The opener, I'm in a Mood,immediately shows the greater confidence , the theme being in a temper with oneself, with some nice electric guitar. The second track, Going Going Gone has simple acoustic guitar at the start, then a fuller arrangement with an almost jazzy swing kicks in , a bright, breezy uplifting song, with vocal backing by Eliza Carthy, Barry Coope and Lester Simpson. The 3rd track, Gormandizer, again features classy electric guitar and a fuller band sound. The track I Won't Hear somewhat surprisingly has a reggae arrangement, while Love Song To a Lyric is a quiter more introspective singer songwriter fayre, nicely done . One of my favourite tracks is Russian Dolls, with a playful finger popping out of the mouth starting the track off then repeated sporadically,a nice cross reference to "peas in the pod" in the lyrics, and great vocal harmony support from Coope, Boyes and Simpson. It is excellently produced,with classy arrangements throughout, a significant development with a much fuller sound exuding more confidence and variety than their debut. The songwriting is also stronger and covers a wider variety of subject matter,for instance the closer Starveling, highlighting the shallowness and compromises that a female model needs to make, keeping in shape and damaging their long term relationships,ever fearful of being replaced by a younger counterpart. So in summary this is a great success, and rather an oxymoron to the album title, it should be proudly displayed and loudly played.