In terms of spirit, I am very much reminded of the eponymous first album by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Civilian feels earnest and honest and urgent.
Utterly unhurried, and all the better for it, Voice of Dawn looks like it’s done at around 6 minutes, then a slightly tremulous, yet controlled tender vocal comes in right at the death, before being swept away in a shocking sweep of white noise that takes us through to the end proper. Worth your full attention for its full run time. Nicely done!
The mix is a little muddy, as befits the genre, but I like it – it feels retro, knowing and modern all at once, and the hooks are all very much in place. Strap yourselves in!
Wonderful syncopated guitar riffs and piano work introduce Burning Bridges, a zesty and confident piece of modern country, which rattles along at a fair old pace with some terrific vocals from Bree Taylor.
It’s a melding of primarily 60s- and 70s-influenced classic rock songs and sounds and yet sounding audacious and as fresh-as-a-daisy enough to consistently beguile the listener, I’m at a bit of a loss for words, whilst seemingly being able to write endlessly about it!
This collection is a fascinating retrospective that showcases his talents nicely. Something of a musical magpie, he fearlessly plugs in to all manner of influences, instruments and collaborators with the kind of gusto and skill that can only be admired. It’s extremely accomplished and extremely impressive.
I guess what I’m saying is the album leans into something akin to a multi-sensory experience… intellect, emotion, poetry, visual story-telling, painting with sounds… if you choose, all are engaged by this melting pot that Vlasse has put together.
It’s beautiful and satisfying: be bathed by its waters and wash off all your troubles…
From the first second, Keep On demands your attention. Actually, I’d go further. I’d say it compels your attention to sit up and chow down.
Spirit of Hope feels like the sort of medicine that you look forward to taking. And not just because you have to. May it enter into you and enhance your hopefulness, too. A tremendous album.
Laid back, effortlessly cool and sensibly exploiting the skills of both singers. Great stuff.
There are enough disparate rhythms, unexpected melodic developments and snatched moments of character that help set Dream Catcher apart from a lot of its rivals. It feels authentic and McMillan sells it well.