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Album: Sixty Minutes An Hour
Label: Lee Madison Music
Tracks: 13

Sixty Minutes An Hour is the second album from Hartlepool based Lee Maddison, playing with numerous other musicians. It's an album concerned with the passing of time, and the different ways in which we each experience it. This is perfectly summed up in the title track which sprang directly from a quote by C.S. Lewis, about taking the time to see the beauty around us rather than concentrating on the ticking of time.

It's an album of two halves, with a rock tinged opening soon settling down into a more folk laden offering. In particular Parasiteful is a driving rock track, inspired by a schizophrenic patient (Lee Maddison is a full time Mental Health Nurse) pre-occupied with the state of the planet. Tumbleweed introduces more of a folk feel, the drums really helping the acerbic vehemence of the vocals, aimed as a rebuke to small-town mentalities.

As soon as a solid cover of Roy Harper's The Flycatcher appears, the tone of the album noticeably changes, with more of a traditional folk sound taking over. Lines On A Fisherman's Wife is taken from poem, with Maddison adding the chorus as well as the arrangements, and is a beautiful song that is very different stylistically from the album's opening tracks. Love Like Autumn is a great sentimental duet with Edwina Hayes, with the vocals complementing each other perfectly.

The high points of the album do come in the more mellow and melancholic second half of the album. Weightless is a gem of a song, over quickly but lingers on the memory, and has a lot to say in a very short time span, full of nostalgia and loss. A Thomas Hardy Evening features a glorious string quartet arrangement, and is full of whimsy and dreamlike imagery.

There really is a lot to admire in Sixty Minutes An Hour, covering a mixture of joy and sadness like our own journeys through life. The contrast in tone across the album lends itself well to that feel of a musical journey. This is well crafted music, performed wonderfully by all involved, and is well worth a listen.

Adam Jenkins