Stuart Elwin - Living In The Dark

Wednesday 1st October 1997
Stuart Elwin - Living In The Dark

RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
LABEL: Plankton PCN152
FORMAT: Cassette Album
RELEASE DATE: 1997-08-04

Reviewed by Andy Long

Stuart Elwin's second solo album shows a growth in songwriting, musicianship and production. There are some obvious limitations on the album, there are bound to be when you consider that it was recorded on a home-based four-track, but the songs themselves are good, with catchy hooks and well constructed rhythm tracks. When you consider that Stuart plays all the instruments himself as well as producing the tracks himself you begin to appreciate the effort and the ability that has gone into this project. It all becomes even more impressive when you consider the fact that besides battling against a minimal budget Stuart also has to battle against retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary visual disease that has left him with severe tunnel vision and total sight loss in dim light. Stuart is registered blind and recently welcomed Norma the guide dog into his family. The opening track, also the title track, contrasts Stuart's physical blindness with the spiritual blindness of the world. Other tracks too show Stuart's ability to throw out a sharp lyric, the revelatory "Riders Of The Apocalypse" for instance or the love song "Heart". It's easy to visualise Stuart's songs being played by a full band and to imagine the audible result of that.

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