I liked the previous three Jim Moray albums, but, in my opinion, this is his best one yet. Hugely ambitious, dizzyingly diverse, reinterpreting traditional folk with reference to a wide, wide range of more contemporary genres, without ever seeming forced or inappropriate. Bristol Harbour draws on grunge, Silver Dagger (for me, one of the standout tracks) is almost Tracy Chapmanesque, the vocals on The Lowlands of Holland reminiscent of R'n'B, Spencer The Writer nods to Britpop, the lush, flamboyant theatricality of William Taylor (my standout track no. 2), with its OTT orchestral arrangement giving a more than a passing nod to Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir", contrasting with the stripped down intimacy of the more obviously folky Jenny of the Moor. There's so much here, it could seem like a How Many Styles Can I Possibly Incorporate?musical exercise, were it not for the bucketloads of passion and conviction which pull it all together. Fabulous.
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