STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 93391-16532 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
It always fascinates me the way that songs are living entities and they grow, change and mutate over the years. Songs that are recorded, somehow speed up when performed live or other embellishments are added. For Martyn Joseph, studio recordings sometimes go the other way as they are laid bare before audiences with just a guitar, a voice and a harmonica for company. This isn't a live album but it's a collection of performances of some of Martyn's most popular and moving songs with Martyn bringing the kind of versions of the songs that he sings in a live setting. From lessons in Welsh history ancient and modern on "Proud Valley Boy", "Dic Penderyn", "Sing To My Soul" and "Please Sir" to touching songs that explore the contradictions and questions of faith in "Kiss The World Beautiful", "Strange Way" and "Turn Me Tender", the power of Martyn's art seems to burn brighter in this uncluttered context. Social commentary rubs shoulders with Martyn's observation of the human condition. He often says in concert that he writes miserable songs but this collection shows that he is always capable of weaving a thread of melancholic optimism into it all.
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