Bell Jar - Secret Volcanoes

Friday 1st December 2000
Bell Jar - Secret Volcanoes
Bell Jar - Secret Volcanoes

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Paul Wright

'Secret Volcanoes' is the debut album from Bell Jar, headed up by ex-Eden Burning front man, Paul Northup. This album is a year old, but we are reviewing it in conjunction with their new EP, released at this year's Greenbelt. As described in "Sigh Of Relief" and "Second Time Around", Paul Northup has been to the "top" (at least in the Christian scene) but now he believes "Small Is Beautiful" and writes, "I'm not forcing it/Speaking in whispers." The music bears this out: it is sparse yet deftly delivered, moving from Eden's folk and Brit pop to a more jazzy feel; with a Rhodes backing Northup's ringing Telecaster. The songs never mention Jesus once, but they touch smaller aspects of life, like allowing your wife to get a word in edgeways and how it feels when a friend loses their way. The lyrics are touching yet well architectured, as Eden Burning fans will expect. Overall, this is the sound of a deeply philosophical, yet light and uplifting take on the world.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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