STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 10627-9889 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
The first time I heard "Madrid" played on Mike Rimmer's Rimmerama radio programme when Gareth came to Cross Rhythms Villas to do TV and radio interviews I knew this English singer/songwriter with the implausibly Welsh name was something special. "Madrid" is quite simply one of the best songs borne out of a tragic world event you'll ever hear - a haunting, beautifully sparse contemplation on the recent terrorist bombing which then moves seamlessly to the cross and the heart of stone sometimes evident in all of us. Wisely, that classic is recorded with just Gareth's beautifully picked acoustic. There's much else on 'A Play Upon The Conscience' to demonstrate the depth of Gareth's songwriting craft - a concise look at a culture which both bombards us with images of perfect looking people ("Radical"); the 21st century lie that truth is what we make it ("Out Of Hand"), and the closer, Gareth's lovely new melody to the classic hymn "My Song Is Love Unknown". With excellent production and sleeve design this is as impressive an album debut you're likely to find this or any year.
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