Reviewed by Paddy Hudspith
Following up their positively received debut 'Puzzle', from the Scotland-based occasional jazz/rock collective led by Jo Wilson, DLDown now offer us a second collection of their jazzy acoustic rock. The title comes from one of the standout tracks "Starmaker" which lists characteristics of Christ as a quirky but committed friend that one could get to know, before adding the titular closing remark regarding his cosmic creativity. DLDown, as a working unit, now consists solely of multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Jo Wilson, whose "geographical divergence" from former bandmate Tim Buick (saxophone) led to an amicable split. Buick nevertheless pops up on a couple of tracks to lend occasional support to this project. DLDown make a thoughtful, complex noise and there is much to admire here. Wilson is not averse lyrically to tackling deep issues such as God's sovereignty over creation in the light of current global environmental concerns ("Economology"), intimate wrestling over the choice to stay in sin rather than take the 'escape route' offered by grace through faith ("Romans 7"), and the frustrations of an unfulfilling devotional life ("Left To My Own Devices"). A particular musical and thematic high water mark is "Icarus", which deftly adapts the famous Greek myth about an impetuous youth who ignores a wise father's advice and flies too close to the sun, using it as a metaphor for our own rebellion against our heavenly Father. This time, however, the child does not plummet to a tragic demise but into saving arms. The production values are superior throughout, more than adequately showcasing Wilson's talents although I do feel that his vocals are not the strongest weapon in his musical arsenal, coming across a little thin and characterless at times. All in all though, a very strong album with much to recommend it.
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