Top positive review
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From Strength To Strength!
on 29 August 2012
I loved the first IV album, thought their second release Empire & Love was even better and now they have managed to top that with Bending The Dark! Empire & Love was much more of a 'band' album that the first release and Bending The Dark takes that vibe further still.
In terms of personnel, this album does not include Chris Wood (who was busy working on his own album) but sees the wonderful Jackie Oates joining as a full member. It's Jackie who opens the album with an acapella The Captain's Apprentice before the band kick in on New York Trader.
Eliza Carthy fans are in for a treat on tracks such as Fisherman, Sick Old Man and the stunningly beautiful Washing Song.
The two instrumental tracks The Guvna & Get Kalsi (the latter being a theme tune for percussionist Johnny Kalsi) both have incredible strong grooves running through them; your can't help but tap your feet ; )
The title track is a 12 minute epic composed by Sheema Mukherjee for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad and is a wonderful melting pot of styles ranging from Morris to Bhangra and pretty much everything in between.
If I had to make a criticism it would be the lack of a Martin Carthy lead vocal anywhere on the album; whilst he contributes some beautiful guitar work and backing vocals, I would have loved to hear his voice to the fore on a track or two.
I watched the promo video for this release and as a member of the band says "No one else could make this album" and he's spot on ... IV really are unique. If only all the people who rave over artists such as Bellowhead & Mumford & Sons gave The Imagined Village a listen they would love this album.
I seriously can't understand the Amazon reviewer that stated "Time to call it a day on this project I think" ... you can't be listening to the same album! This collective just goes from strength to strength.
Roll On Album No.4!!!!