The music on this album is fantastic. Great sounding; great arrangements, so many delicious nuances in each track – a gloriously lush album. Good, strong lyrics abound – these are songs that show range of emotion and feeling; in a word, an adult album – a mature collection. The lead vocals, however, are not my usual taste or preference, as they tend to veer too frequently into sing-speak and too dry. That doesn’t mean I don’t like it – it works for these songs and the atmosphere on this album. So while the songs hit many targets of what I like dead on, it has its slight distractions. I say that before singling out individual tracks to get my one “criticism” of the record out of the way.
So looking at some of the songs on this 14-track set, “Majesty” leaps out at you with beauty, fullness and grandeur – chanting the refrain of “majesty” over and over with a lovely melody, it can send chills down your spine. “Clear Your Mind”, I think, may be the standout – a gently chiming guitar figure carries the song with an upbeat tempo. “Till My Dying Day” opens the album and immediately holds you in its grip; “No Time For Love” starts with a piano accompanying the vocals but then kicks in with a perfect pop backing (and I love the acoustic guitar strums that you not only hear but feel). “Another Year” has a “Mediterranean” feel (by virtue of its melody and tasteful use of mandolin and accordion); “Who Were You Baby?” has a visual lyric and a nice almost “sarcastic” feel.
Spottiswoode & His Enemies, who are New York based, are now on my short list to check out live. I can only hope that with a collection of this quality, more people are introduced. A fine, complete piece for all.
RELEASE DATE: April 15th, 2014