9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Less smoke, more fire,
This review is from: Blood Speaks (Audio CD)
Following quickly on the heels of 2010's stirring debut "Through Low Life And Trees", Jessica Davies and Katherine Blamire navigate the minefield of 'difficult second album syndrome' with mostly successful results.
The formula remains much the same, that now familiar melange of traditional English-rose folky voices and Delta blues motifs much to the fore, only a little darker and at times more strident than last time out.
The haunting "Awake", awash with sumptuous harmonies, "Feel It Coming Near", "Hideaway" and "Version of The Future" linger longest in the memory on first listen, whilst the title track suggests that The Roches might possibly be a guilty secret somewhere in the girls' music collection.
Two of the three bonus tracks on the Deluxe Edition, "Radio Clicks On" and "Bells", the latter building to an Enya-esque climax, are as good as anything else on the record, a refreshing break with convention that normally fails to see beyond the bare marketing opportunity of bunging on a few extra songs that otherwise wouldn't see the light of the day. The third bonus track "The Wireless" is slightly less memorable, though, and sounds like it could even have been an out-take from the first album.
The Smoke Fairies' highly distinctive style does make you wonder how long they can tread this same path without some kind of sharp turn to the right or left but, even without a song quite as satisfying as "Strange Moon Rising", this will do well enough for now.