Top positive review
20 people found this helpful
Two steps forward....
on 6 July 2013
I think that Chris Wood is the most socially relevant and interesting songwriter in Britain today. Not just in folk, but any genre you can mention. I'm a huge fan, and his last three albums - The Lark Descending, Trespasser and Handmade Life - are masterpieces, and among the best records of recent years.
I've lived with None The Wiser for a few months now, having bought it directly from Chris Wood when it was first released. I've also been to see him perform the songs live. By anyone else's standards, this is a terrific piece of work. The title track is great, and surprisingly funky (a word I never thought I'd use in a Chris Wood review); The Sweetness Game is bittersweet and poignant; and Thou Shalt (Not) is really funny.
However, unlike the aforementioned CDs, I can't recommend it unreservedly. The amplified guitar and Hammond organ combo is very different from his earlier sound, and although it works well on some songs, I find myself missing the folkie acoustic vibe that made the previous releases so special. The other issue for me is the lack of a 'killer' song, one you have to put on repeat and just hear time and time again. Try as I might, there's nothing on here that touches me like 'One in a Million' or 'Hollow Point'.
If you've got his other releases, don't hesitate to get this. There won't be many better albums released this year. If however you're new to Chris Wood, I'd suggest that you'd do (even) better starting with one of his earlier albums.