STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 159669-23583 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2016-02-18 RRP: £10.00
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Since his well-received debut in 2011, Somerset singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Liam Blake has seen his career grow in strength with worldwide tours and a soMOJO Artist Of The Year award helping to cement his status as one of the music world's most refreshingly inventive talents. With songs that were written during a musical residency in Dubai, Blake's upcoming new album is simply a joy to behold. Taking over the production reins as well as most of the instrumental duties, Blake has adopted an approach that simultaneously sees him reference the electronic-tinged sound of bands such as Tears For Fears, Prefab Sprout and '80s-era Fleetwood Mac by using synth washes and the occasional loop whilst maintaining his own artistic identity throughout. Blake's gently wistful vocal delivery perfectly fits the overarching contemplative feel of his lyrics and, whilst tracks like "Me Vs The Night" and "We Don't Do That Anymore" contain some light melancholy, the melodic beauty of such songs shines through and keeps proceedings from ever becoming maudlin. Impressively, Blake has succeeded in ensuring that every track is unique thanks to some meticulous arranging and his obvious skill as a writer with tracks such as "Big Yellow Moon" and the song of encouragement "Beautiful World" arguably being the most natural candidates for radio play. Presumably in order to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, Blake has chosen not to specifically reference his God in song and instead keeps matters of faith fairly general and open to interpretation with the likes of the opener "Universal Puppeteer" and "Better" allowing listeners to make up their own mind. Set for release in February, this could well be the album of 2016.
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