3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
growing on me,
This review is from: The First Days of Spring (Audio CD)
Well I've given this one some time before I've written a review. I have to admit on the first few listens this didn't grab me at all and there is still one fault with it that doesn't diminish but more of that in a while. I guess it also seems quite a good time to revisit this now that Laura Marling's excellent second album has been released. That event (at least for the rest of us if not Charlie Fink) presumably brings closure to the theme of The First Days of Spring (unless there's more to come in the Fink/Marling/Mumford nu-folk soap opera?).
Many albums have of course been constructed with a running narrative in the past though none can surely be more 'in your face' obvious than this one. It certainly doesn't bother too much with metaphor. Tell it as it is Charlie Fink! The lyrics are very personal though nowhere near as intimate as the comparably themed 'Boatman's Call' by Nick Cave (nor sadly as good as that album). The songs are aimed directly at Laura Marling and sometimes they're just a bit too desperate for my liking but there's no doubting the sincerity of this and after all that's what really matters when it boils down to it. I do feel though that sometimes listening to this is like intruding on someone's personal grief, like stumbling into a room to find yourself alone whilst two lovers argue. An argument to which you cannot of course have feelings for on either side. Then again, who of us hasn't been in love? Who of us hasn't had their love shattered? So the lyrics whilst of course utterly personal do speak beyond Fink and Marling's affair. Musically though, this is good and the lyrics whilst highly personal are excellent.
Overall this is a very good album but... The thing that I just can't love about this. The 'orchestral' diversion we get half way through... I'm sorry but I just don't get this. What might have been a good idea just hasn't worked in the execution. It ain't Mozart is it.... Or anything that good really. It sounds rather camp to me somehow. I think I see what he was aiming for but what's come out of this is like 'Appalachian Spring' redone by Lloyd-Webber. Not good! There's a return to the choir later on which also fails to move me. Ah well, but the rest of the album is very good, no doubting that. I'd recommend. (8/10)