STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 169116-26606 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Andy Shaw
Once again, the long-established Midlands-based songsmith has journeyed to the Foundry Music Lab in Scotland to work with Wet Wet Wet guitarist Graeme Duffin and producer Sandy Jones. The overall sound of the record sees a focus on acoustic instrumentation with a number of tracks stripped back to just vocal and acoustic guitar and others sticking to a four-piece band of guitar, bass, drums and keys. There are nods to a number of influences in the music with the blues-tinged "God Knows What It's Like" providing electric guitar licks and an impressive technical solo and the Americana/country feel on "Bigger Than That" alongside the more traditional folk sound. Rob Halligan has a knack for writing songs that feel familiar even though you haven't heard them before, instantly accessible and engaging. Opener "We Listened To Ray" is a classic folk tune telling the tale of the range of influences we have in our lives with a sing-along chorus that provides the title for the album, "And we all write the songs/And we all sing along/And the world dances on to the tune of our song." The theme of community and the importance of love and encouragement for each other is repeated throughout the record giving messages of hope in the face of tragedy ("When Heroes Fall") and a promise of support and love no matter what ("Hold You Tonight"). There is also a clear focus on God's love as the only thing that can be relied on ("Hold Lightly") with the power to overcome anything ("Love Is Bigger"). Up to Rob's usual high standards.
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