Caedmon - A Chicken To Hug

Published Tuesday 21st December 2010
Caedmon - A Chicken To Hug
Caedmon - A Chicken To Hug

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 103671-17548
LABEL: Independent
RELEASE DATE: 2010-12-01
RRP: £12.00

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

32 years after the release of their one and only studio album, the five original members of the then Edinburgh-based student folk rock group Caedmon have reunited to record a sensational and long awaited follow up. The years simply roll away in the opener "Peace In The Fire" - thanks to the haunting vocals of Angela Webb (ne้ Naylor) and the interaction between Ken Patterson's charango and Jim Bisset's guitar - and, although many elements of the original Caedmon sound remain, the band have clearly evolved. For instance, the inclusion of Simon on full drum kit as opposed to the makeshift percussion of yesteryear, together with some expert production from Lies Damned Lies' Steve Butler, make for a fuller sound whilst each member performing lead vocal duties adds to the album's variety. In addition, the subject matter of the songs hone in on life's experiences rather than specifically referencing Christianity as per the group's earlier work. This new focus works particularly well and songs such as Ken Patterson's achingly honest "Childless" and the band's own acknowledgment of their different opinions in "Elephant In The Chatroom" make for a sincere, candid and warm album that celebrates the life journeys of each member in the convening years since the group's split. With each track essentially a highlight, it's nigh on impossible to single out a favourite but moments such as Ken's accordion trading licks with Jim's guitar on Claire Wilson's poignant "Still Here" and Jim's heartfelt vocal on the sublime "Four Winds" are nothing short of inspired. Elsewhere, the infectious joy of "Time Flies" and the funky "Old Enough To Know Better" show that Caedmon are still able to let their collective hair down before Sam's beautifully retrospective "Old Kings" wraps up an immensely satisfying and life affirming collection of songs by one of the music world's best kept secrets. If you purchase only one album this year, make it this one.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Peace In The Fire [Listen]
2. Still Here [Listen]
3. Bonnie Boy [Listen]
4. Four Winds [Listen]
5. Waltzing Home [Listen]
6. Time Flies [Listen]
7. Take It Away [Listen]
8. Old Enough To Know Better [Listen]
9. Childless [Listen]
10. Ouagadougou [Listen]
11. Elephant In The Classroom [Listen]
12. Old Kings [Listen]
13. Chicken Slip [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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