Terry EmmTerry Emm
Album: Starlight
Label: Azez
Tracks: 10

At the still relatively young age of twenty six and hailing from Bedfordshire, home of the clanger, born and raised singer-songwriter, Terry Emm, is releasing album number three, "Starlight". If you don't know what a Bedfordshire Clanger is, lose all thoughts of knitted pink space creatures and soup dragons and instead think of a suet crust pastry with a meat and potato main course at one end and a jam and fruit pudding at the other, sweet and savoury in one neatly contained package, which by coincidence just happens to be a good description of the album.

"Starlight" is an album that that has both the melancholy of say a Nick Drake and a more poppy uplifting feel of acoustic pop that takes on that dreamy feel that feels a bit like that French pop sound of the late sixties, but somehow with an English rather than Gallic sensibility. It's also an album with some rich string arrangements, courtesy of Calina De La Mare, all of which conspire to give the album a sophisticated sound.

Sophistication is one of those things that can be a double edged sword. Whilst there is a real beauty to sophistication, it's one of those things which, once broken can be more than a little difficult to repair and whilst "Starlight" never breaks, there a couple of points where Emm's gets a bit close to the edge, arguably tries squeezing to much in, sometimes less is more and there are points on the album, where he knows this is the case.

"Starlight" has shows Emm's maturing as both writer and performer, finding new ways of turning experience and observation into some really great songs, songs that feel able to take the pressures of modern life and provide a respite from it. Like the Bedfordshire Clanger I referenced earlier there are times when your brain tells you it shouldn't work, but experience shows it does and does it very well. Give it a chance, you'll find it makes sense.

Neil King