12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Big Little Dramas,
This review is from: Mirror Mirror (Audio CD)
I've always been partial to a good falsetto and
Jamie McDermot has a particularly nifty one.
(His vibrato is pretty stunning at times too!)
He also leads a delectable ensemble of talented
musicians whose capacity to give life to his
musical imaginings is quite breathtaking.
The twelve pieces on this recording are all
atmospherically realised dramas which are so
beguiling in their complexity that it is impossible
not to get sucked (hook line and sinker!) into
their magical narratives and sonic landscapes.
Mr McDermot clearly knows what he is about.
His refined musical intelligence and compositional
know-how point to a well-absorbed academic past.
The Irrepressibles is an entirely apt name for the band.
The energy and dynamism expended by all concerned
creates a thoroughly uplifting listening experience.
There is no waste matter here whatsoever.
The plaintive voice on the captivating
'In Your Eyes' is utterly stunning!
The limpid string and woodwind arrangement equally so.
Comparisons with Antony Hegarty are inevitable
and not unwarrented but that which makes Mr McDermot
different is spectacularly and uniquely his own!
The haunting, nocturnal world of 'I'll Maybe Let You'
is a strangely disturbing soundscape. Skittering
percussion, uneasy violin and Craig White's dream-like
cor anglais intervention all keep our nerves nicely on edge.
The spirit of Aaron Copland seems to have touched the
inspiration underpinning 'Anvil'. The bouncing rhythmic
structure and vibrant string part brought the composer's
'Appalachian Spring' to mind on more than one occasion.
'Knife Song' creates a tense melodrama akin to some of
the finest Brecht/Weill songs of the 1920's and 30's.
The final exposed vocal leap explodes into the air like
a wild, exotic bird ! A big risk, well taken!
'Splish! Splash! Sploo!' is a delicious danse macabre.
Mr McDermot's mad scene is dark and electrifying.
Final track 'In This Shirt' provides an intesely moving
conclusion to this deleriously good album. A sublime song!
For lovers of fine music - look no further!