Top critical review
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on 19 July 2012
So, what's the latest "enfant terrible" of the nu-folk scene got to offer us (after all that pre-publicity) then ? Well, putting aside any considerations of the virtues of song collection or the merits of re-interpreting the "tradition", and just simply listening to it as an album in its own right, it's sort of ... overwhelmingly alright. Actually it verges on the slightly boring at times and struggles to hold my attention at times. I'm afraid that for my punk-rock ears a whole album totally devoid of guitars and without much in the way of drums is a bit too much for me to take all in one go. (Don't be alarmed, punk & folk are two sides of the same coin I reckon). However, and let's concentrate on this, it does contain a couple of absolute gems.
The best is On Yonder Hill where the part of "lead guitar" is taken by "hunting horn". OK it's actually a trumpet but that's what it (deliberately) sounds like, brilliant, brilliant, absolute genius. The other gem is Goodbye My Darling, which (once it gets going) sounds like Outdoor Miner by Wire, yes, it really does. It's worth the price of admission just for these two tracks alone. Actually it would be worth it just for On Yonder Hill alone.
A word on the earlier review by Leonardo27 who has completely missed the point to an almost unbelievable degree. As Sam explained on a recent Mike Harding show, the song The Jew's Garden is there to demonstrate how the English can be shown in a bad-light regarding anti-semitism. So therefore, one could say that the presence of the song here is effectively anti-English rather than anti-semitic. Was Leonardo27 not aware that Sam is Jewish ? It seems to get mentioned in every interview he does and every article about him.