When you've been called the Mersey Van Morrison, or the Scouse Springsteen, it can be more than a little hard to live up to the billing. However after good reviews for his first album, Life In Easy Steps, his follow up proves that Vincent has the ability to transcend such labelling. I'll Make The Most Of My Sins is a strong fusion of country and folk that slowly reveals more of its complexities every time you listen.
The main highlights come early, after the short but atmospheric instrumental Mobius, So In Love starts by sounding almost like the theme from Sherlock, but as soon as Vincent's vocals kick in the song is a complete joy. It is nicely brooding and articulate; a song that demands to be played on repeat a few times before moving on.
All For You is a lovely song, though it's quite a jarring change of pace from the track that preceded it. It's the first surprise of several throughout the album, that when you think you know what's coming next stylistically, Vincent pulls the rug from under your feet. He does it again immediately seguing into Lady, another undoubted high point on the album, and in fact would be a high point on almost any album.
I mention highlights, but there isn't actually a weak point on the record. He constantly shifts styles, going from simple accompaniments to full on band, and is equally comfortable with both. You Wouldn't Let It is a perfect example of the former, with the vocals doing the heavy lifting on a song about questioning our own morals and actions. November ramps up the other instruments, pumping up the pace on one of the boisterous tracks on the record. Denial manages to fit something akin to both styles into just one track, beginning with a simple guitar riff, before slowing bringing in some drums, and even harmonica.
The title track is another sudden change of pace, with a more languid track more in the style of All For You. It features weighty subject matter about faith, fundamentalism, politics and media, all wrapped in a song with a chorus that begs to be sung along to.
Having previously supported the likes of James Blunt, Squeeze and Cherry Ghost, this is a glorious album that shows that Vincent can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best. Ebullient, evocative and entertaining, this is a must listen.
|Sean Taylor: Flood & Burn||Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band: Big Machine|
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