2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Simplicity and complexity, beauty and ugliness...,
This review is from: Imago (MP3 Download)
'Take me as far as a fiver will get me/I am officially running away.'
'I whisper my mistakes to a beached injured whale.'
'The arthritis in my fingers reminds me of your mother.'
Beccy Owen writes remarkable lyrics. I can't think of any lyric writer I know who is further away from either the indentikit lyrics of manufactured pop or the obscurity of some musical 'artists.' She tells it like she sees it. Take me as far as a fiver will get me. Why didn't anyone think of putting that into a song before?
Maybe it's because Owen's particular gift is to take words that come from real life and make them sound like music without mangling them into some prearranged lyrical form: sometimes things don't rhyme, or even scan, but I really couldn't care less. I absolutely believe this person who is letting me into their heart. Not only that, but she takes me from first love to breakup and fallout in about half an hour and I'm with her all the way.
When she sings of lust I feel the (cough, cough) physicality and fun of it, and when things go wrong I feel uncomfortable, like a fly on the wall as the suitcases are packed and ready to go. The only person I can compare her to is Paul Buchanan - I can't tell you how wonderful it is to BELIEVE what I'm hearing.
And there's another reason to compare this album to Paul Buchanan. Imago is stripped back and bare, just like Mid Air. Songwriting with a very basic palate of piano (or occasionally guitar) and some background sounds is so vulnerable, so affecting, when it's done well, as it is here. It's just that I prefer the Blue Nile to Buchanan's solo album, and likewise I prefer Too Late for Logic by her band Sharks Took the Rest. So while Imago has invention and contrast and drama and plenty of space for Owen's voice (and what a voice!), I'm a bit of a sucker for a proper band and a big chorus.
One more thing I will say: I watched this album being performed live with my 13-year-old daughter. We don't really have the same musical tastes but since she is getting into singer-songwriters I hoped she would like it. During 'Tiger Lily', she turned round to look at me and had tears streaming down her face. I thought, 'she is too young to really know what's going on here, but Beccy has still connected anyway.' Powerful stuff. This is powerful stuff.