Friday, 12 January 2018

Chris Wood - So Much to Defend, album review


This is a stand-out folk album from 2017, and actually just a stand-out album. Chris Wood does occupy a noticeably formal and traditional place within the folk genre, but he nonetheless manages to make it completely fresh and apt in a way the paradoxes within this sentence won’t if it is over-analysed, or maybe even just read a second time. My apologies. What I mean is I hear folk tropes in obvious ways as with 1887 [though the piano is an askance instrument] and in the absolutely stunning, beautiful closer You May Stand Mute. Opener So Much to Defend is rich in its Martyn-esque pickandslap guitar work, so in a sense a more modern folk grope [‘modern’ being a relative term here], the narrative itself referencing ‘Skype’ so a genuinely updated mention, and the ‘Ebbsfleet’ FC mention a bit of grounding news. There’s Hammond organ in the This Love Won’t Let You Fail to broaden the folksiness outwards – another beautiful song – and the horn/s in Strange Cadence a jazz inflection to make the listening pleasure fulsome.

Quite a brilliant album, in fact.

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