Yvonne Lyon - Held

Published Monday 2nd November 2015
Yvonne Lyon - Held
Yvonne Lyon - Held

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 159246-23513
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

As themes for so-called concept albums go, the subject of death is perhaps an unpromising one but not so in the hands of renowned Scottish singer/songwriter Yvonne Lyon. Primarily written as part of a Masters Degree in songwriting and spurred on by personal loss suffered by both herself and her writing partners on this album, Lyon has once again employed the services of her songwriter husband David and Foundry Music Lab production duo Graeme Duffin and Sandy Jones to offer up a release that is both heartbreakingly candid and eternally hopeful. Lyon is arguably more experimental than she's ever been with the likes of the stark and abstract opener "Significance" offering up fleeting recollections to the backdrop of some skilfully fractured instrumentation (including a stellar turn from violinist Seonaid Aitken) before giving way occasionally to more upbeat fare such as the optimistic title track. Elsewhere, Lyon teams up with her Kilmarnock Edition colleague Fiona J MacKenzie for a rootsy English/Gaelic hybrid in "The Warp And The Weft" - a song that centres around the famous "there is a time" passage from Ecclesiastes - whilst some beautiful Spanish guitar from Wet Wet Wet's Graeme Duffin in the minimalistic "See It Through" gives ample space for contemplation. In short, each track showcases Lyon's masterful ability of translating the savage rawness of loss into tangible songs that echo the listener's own experience of the grief, hope, regret and strength found in death - not least in the breathtaking "Learning To Live Again" and "Till We Meet Again" - to make an album that gets alongside the bereaved, weeps with them and helps them look upward and onward. Ending with the wistful "Speke Road Gardens" - an extended improvised meditation around a repeated phrase - this is a simply unmissable album from one of the country's finest songwriters.

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 later date.

Interested in reviewing music? Find out more here.

Be the first to comment on this article

We welcome your opinions but libellous and abusive comments are not allowed.

We are committed to protecting your privacy. By clicking 'Send comment' you consent to Cross Rhythms storing and processing your personal data. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.