20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A five star triumph, 30 April 2012
Crown and Treaty, the third offering from Sweet Billy Pilgrim, takes all of the best of them -- the narrative craft and the mournful beauty -- adds a massive shot of confidence, and opens the sound out into a far greater space. And the result is nothing short of staggering.
From the opening woodwind bursts -- like revellers being corralled into a wedding photo -- this is a looser, more open album than its predecessor, the Mercury nominated Twice Born Men. The band sounds bigger and bolder. There is a greater range of ambition, and a vitality and joy that floods the record with energy. These songs are adventures. The band, secure in its essence, happily doffing its collective cap to folk, soul and indie rock -- and delivering a wonderfully coherent set of songs with a confidence and level of accomplishment that is unapologetically brilliant.
With this album, Sweet Billy Pilgrim strides as well as shuffles.
Tim Elsenburg is fast establishing himself as a songwriter of rare ability. This is exquisite craftsmanship. Though drawing from a wider palette, there is still nothing extraneous here. Not a word is wasted, or easy, and the same is true for the arrangements. There is a beautiful new female vocal that benefits the whole -- and is not overplayed -and a lightness of touch that belies the level of detail and musicianship at work, as the listener is time and again moved effortlessly up into magnificent sweeps that are just breathtaking.
Rightly given `instant classic' status by Mojo magazine, Sweet Billy Pilgrim have pulled off the feat of creating an album of songs that people will sing, without sacrificing their identity or artistic integrity in the process. With any justice, this will give them the audience they deserve; Crown and Treaty is a triumph.