It starts with a snippet, a section of last years single "Grateful ", it's gospel tinged heaven. It makes you want to search out the full track immediately.
Grateful? Yes we are for the third album by Blue Rose Code, by Ross Wilson "…And Lo! The Bird Is On The Wing", a fusion of folk music and jazz, a quick step away from "The Ballads Of Peckham Rye" perhaps yet definitely a album written from the heart.
There is so much to enjoy here, the music embraces you like a lovers caress, a gentle arm around the shoulder, the slightest of pressure, it stops you, you turn face to face. And melt.
Warm burr of vocals, impeccable songwriting, reminiscent of the contemplative period of Van Morrison at his best this is magical "like an angel singing to a sleeping child" as Ross states in "My Heart, The Sun".
"Rebecca" upbeat wishful thoughts of a lover, a new life, a song that is driven along by double bass and drums whilst the pedal steel soars, complimenting perfectly the acoustic guitar.
Two hearts though don't always beat as one. "Pokesdown Waltz" examines a failed relationship, Wilson offers painful fragility, you feel his loss, his heart is on his sleeve, on ours too. He can't make it right, no matter how hard he tries, we aren't the only ones then "the one regret that presides, I do wish I'd kissed you goodbye". It evokes memories, regrets, an honest assessment of failures set to plaintive sad piano lines (Dave Milligan) it's for me the standout track of the album.
This though is a record that keeps giving, it has an impressive cast of musicians including the flowing bass of Danny Thompson, the trumpet of Colin Steele, the harmonies of Utah born singer Wrenne, the vocals of The McCrary Sisters, the violin of Lauren MacColl. On each listen you pick up more, from the subtle accordion of Angus Lyon, a spoken voice part by Ewan McGregor (yes "The…"), the cello of Graham Coe.
"In The Morning Parts 1 & 2" examines life and loves and the briefness of time, it transforms into a mesmerising dreamscape of jazz overtones before breaking into the brass led "Love"' a call for direct communication, take a chance "I Want to fall in love".
If you take a chance, you might fall in love with Blue Rose Code. I did.
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