Mark David RobertsMark David Roberts
Album: Easier Sung Than Said
Label: Folkwit
Tracks: 15

It's been some seven years since Mark David Roberts released his debut album, "All At Sea", which is a real shame because the release of "Easier Sung Than Said" now brings home what those lucky enough to have been able to get to a live gig have been missing.

This is an album and a title that I'm sure an awful lot of people will feel empathy for. There's a lot of us that try to get too complicated when expressing thoughts and ideas when the action of keep it simple stupid would allow us to be more clearly understood. The great advantage of song is that in enforces that discipline on you. If you've only got a few minutes to express an emotion or communicate a story than you need to make every word count.

Of course, the other great advantage of songs is that they come with tunes and music and arrangements, all of which helps to lay the landscape for what's going to be said and bringing the two together can lay the ground for communication.

Naturally it's not always that simple or practical, imagine a meeting of just four people all debating a point whilst accompanying their thoughts and feelings with a guitar, at that point it's merely a cacophony.

Mark David Roberts is a writer that allows his songs to speak for him and, fortunately, he's also an entertainer which ensures he does it with a certain amount of flair and panache. He makes you want to listen, regardless of whether he's coming at you with words or more instrumental passages, sometimes it's what you're not hearing that's important, it's what you're not hearing.

It also helps that you can feel an impishness to the way he constructs his songs, a wry smile, something that might be connected to a Liverpool based background. "Easier Sung Than Said" may come across as being a bit unassuming at times, but that's a deceptive subtlety, it is still making sure your paying attention, it's just that Mark David Roberts seems to want you to kick back, relax and enjoy.

Neil King

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