Clive-Upon-Sea - Fragments

Published Friday 9th February 2018
Clive-Upon-Sea - Fragments

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 167779-26298
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

This raw and rudimentary release from singer/songwriter and Methodist minister Simon Oliver (stage name Clive-Upon-Sea) came out of various Arts & Faith Nights at the thriving Cottenham Community Centre in Cambridgeshire. At such times, topics ranging from Jesus, the Devil, sex and childhood were discussed and some of these themes are reflected here in song. Musically, this is a very basic affair with a solitary acoustic guitar for the most part accompanying '80s indie-style vocals with the occasional bit of percussion or fuzz guitar thrown in to beef things out. Unfortunately, the one dimensional production and trebly mix doesn't do anything to enhance Oliver's material and some of the unrefined performances here suggest that this album has been put together in something of a rush. In terms of subject matter, Oliver valiantly seeks to present songs designed to help listeners explore Christianity without preconception but, all too often, Jesus and the Christian faith appear to be represented negatively with songs like "Jesus Of Silence" suggesting the Lord has "nothing to say" whilst the overlong and discordant "Reborn (2001)" seems to question whether one can be born again and at one point even suggests that "Jesus ain't coming back again". The catchy folk-tinged "Jesus, Meet Me In The Coda" puts the Saviour in a more positive light.

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