4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Joys Of Light and Shade,
This review is from: Strict Joy (Audio CD)
The really lovely thing about Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard's
new album 'Strict Joy' is its refreshing lack of affectation.
Soulful folk if ever there were such.
The Swell Season's third album, while offering no big
surprises, continues a line of work defined by solid
song-writing and emotionally believable performances.
They are ably assisted in making their musical dreams
come alive by a competent and sympathetic ensemble.
No stars or egos here, just a nice buch of chums
doing what they love and loving what they do.
'In These Arms' is a magical song.
Mr Hansard's warm and gentle approach to the narrative
is beautifully enhanced by Ms Irglova's vocal harmonies,
tentative piano and an ethereal violin.
'Feeling The Pull' works up a good sweat!
A fine tune driven along by Graham Hopkins' energetic
drumming and plenty of full-on strumming!
'The Rain' delivers one of the album's strongest compositions.
The episodic structure weaves in and out of some
texturally interesting highs and lows.
The writers fully understand the value of light and shade;
when to push forward and when to hold back.
Understatement is a rare and undervalued commodity these days.
'High Horses' is another fine example of the same principle.
There is substantial tension and anticipation engendered by
the build-up of layer upon layer of vocal and instrumental sound.
A simple and singular idea beautifully realised.
'I Have Loved You Wrong' is Ms Irglova's finest moment.
Her plaintive voice breathes life into the sad heart of the song.
It is the album's loveliest moment by a mile.
There is little not to like in this endearingly honest project.
It doesn't have the power to solve global warming or the
economic crisis but even a little of this kind of emotional
generosity goes a long way in these troubled times.