Reviewed by Adrian Cherrill
'The Tender Coming' is an offering of very mellow, Scottish folk music and is certainly not an album that you can wake the neighbours with. 13 songs with stark, at times almost empty, instrumentation, and haunting vocals and harmonies. Brenda Heslop's lyrics feel personal and have the air of being sung from experience and from the heart. It's beautifully played and sung and well put together, although the softly played acoustic guitar is a little too quiet at times. Opener "Letting Go", a moody song of loss, certainly sets the tone and is followed by the slightly more up-tempo "Nightmare" before slowing right down for "Still Beautiful". Here, however, it seems to go a little astray, as there is a string of slow, minimal, songs that are saved by just enough variety in the music or vocals to keep the interest. Things pick up again with "Needing You" and "Don't Want To Talk Anymore", which has some fine harmonies and the first really memorable chorus. Finishing the set is the sing-along "Shipbuilders", and the haunting "Last Goodbye" which has the traditional tune "The Tender Coming" tagged onto the end. All in all a set of well written and well played gentle tunes, but as a whole it loses it's way in the middle and the lyrics are often a little too deep to be easily understood.
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
Interested in reviewing music? Find out