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Subtle yet powerful follow-up,
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This review is from: Empire and Love (Audio CD)
This follow-up to The Imagined Village's eponymous debut on Real World from 2007 is a much lower budget effort than its predecessor, but none the worse for that. Eschewing big-name guest artists like Paul Weller or Benjamin Zephaniah in favour of the core talent - English folk's quiet king Chris Wood, elder statesman Martin Carthy and his daughter Eliza - it breathes new life into classics like "The Weaver & the Factory Maid" and "Byker Hill", seasoning the latter with some bitter recollections from a modern miner's wife. Wood's reworking of "Scarborough Fair" substitutes subtly interwoven violins for the cystalline traceries of Simon & Garfunkel's hit version and the band's audacious cover of Slade's 70s barnstormer "Cum On Feel The Noize" strips away the glam racket in favour of a gentle come-all-ye, an invitation to the kind of mythic celebration which you feel might be vanishing into the mists even as the words are uttered. Subtle, yet powerful stuff.